27 Sep 2005

French Polynesian GIP members march on presidential palace

3:27 pm on 27 September 2005

Reports from French Polynesia say about 100 members of the GIP intervention force have marched to the presidential palace in Papeete in a bid to discuss their future with President Oscar Temaru.

The Tahitipresse news agency says this comes amid a planned restructuring of the 13-hundred strong force which has rebelled against Mr Temaru three times this year by shutting down the port and its industrial zone.

The reports say the GIP group is seeking the departure of the interim boss, Yannick Boosie, and his predecessor, Rere Puputauki, who has been spearheading the rebellions.

Meanwhile a survey on the GIP published by a local daily newspaper shows that almost 90 percent of those questioned want the GIP to be either restructured or abolished.

The GIP was set up by the former President Gaston Flosse in the 1990s and grew to its current size when he was returned to power nearly a year ago.

The GIP, which has been describes as a Praetorian guard, is being examined for harbouring a spy cell loyal to Mr Flosse.