11 Mar 2005

French Polynesia's GIP head expects loyalty from force

10:42 am on 11 March 2005

The new head of French Polynesia's presidential intervention group, the GIP, says he expects the core of the force to obey the instructions of the new government.

Robert Maker says a couple dozen people have become what he describes as Gaston Flosse's private police while the GIP had originally been formed to help with disaster relief.

Mr Maker says the new government will decide within weeks what to do with the additional 400 GIP members hired by the Flosse government in recent months to swell the GIP ranks to 1,100.

He says he doesn't expect any obstruction from the core group around the former GIP boss, Leonard Puputauki.

"They have legal functions in the GIP and I will use those people to work in those functions for which they have been contracted to serve the country. If they don't we have legal procedures to stop the contract and to kick them out."

Robert Maker