22 Feb 2006

French Polynesia intervention group ousts new boss - report

12:42 pm on 22 February 2006

A report from French Polynesia says former members of the Polynesian Intervention Group have apparently forced officials to agree to their nominee as their boss.

The news agency Tahitipresse reports 20 men from the former GIP gathered at the ministry of equipment in Tahiti, this morning, led by their former boss, Leonard Puputauki.

The GIP disaster relief squad was dissolved last month by the president Oscar Temaru, who once described it as a veritable praetorian guard set up by his predecessor Gaston Flosse.

The ministry of equipment is now employing the former GIP members in a 250-person strong Administrative Flotilla.

This was to be headed up by a military engineer sent especially from France, Bernard Loridan.

But the former GIP members want Wilfrid Tetuamanuhiri to be their boss instead.

The members of the Administrative Flotilla are set to vote on Mr Tetuamanuhiri's leadership tomorrow.

The ministry of equipment was not available for comment.