5 Jul 2005

French Polynesian politician views GIP demands as destabilisation move

9:27 am on 5 July 2005

French Polynesia's centrist politician, Nicole Bouteau, says the continued demands by the former head of the GIP force, Rere Puputauki, are aimed at destabilising the government of Oscar Temaru.

His government backed down three months ago when Mr Puputauki ordered a blockade of the port of Papeete to impose a new interim GIP boss in defiance of Mr Temaru who had made an appointment and vowed not to give in to blackmail.

Mr Puputauki has threatened unprecedented blockades and strikes by the 13-hundred strong force if there are lay-offs.

Ms Bouteau says Mr Temaru has to deal with the repeated demands from the GIP which she says are aimed at destabilising his government.

But she says French state has to act in case the GIP causes disruptions.

"The security and the public order is the competence of the French state. We don't, French Polynesia doesn't have this competence."

In April, the French high commission described the GIP's port blockade as a labour dispute.