21 Sep 2005

New Makemo mayor calls first meeting since election in Tahiti

8:02 pm on 21 September 2005

The new mayor of Makemo in French Polynesia has called his first council meeting since his controversial election in Tahiti.

Michel Yip was chosen in an extraordinary council sitting in Papeete after the Makemo townhall was blockaded twice to prevent his election, with some islanders objecting to him not being from Makemo but from Katiu.

Mr Yip, who is a member of the territorial assembly of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, is to replace Tuhiva Mairoto who was removed by decree issued by the French prime minister last month for alleged mismanagement.

Mr Yip has called a meeting for Friday while Mr Mairoto has called a meeting for next week.

This comes as the deputy mayor, who has also been removed, has challenged the legality of the process and points out that Mr Yip has been ordered by a court to remove illegally erected structures on Makemo and replant the coconut trees that he felled.