20 Jul 2007

French Polynesian rivals sketch way forward

3:39 pm on 20 July 2007

French Polynesia's rival political leaders, Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru, are reported to have met at the beginning of this month to discuss forming an interim government and demand fresh elections before the end of the year.

The Nouvelles de Tahiti says leaders of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira and Tavini Huiraatira also discussed a document that would provide for a new statute to make the territory an associated state of France.

In 2004, its status was changed to an overseas country within the republic but the French government now refers to it as an overseas collectivity.

The newspaper report says the document also provides for negotiations of a Tahiti Nui Accord that would pave the way for a self-determination process in 20 years.

It says the document was not signed by the Tavini side although it has mooted the concept in recent years.

A Tahoeraa leader, Edouard Fritch, has confirmed the talks and noted that the two sides represent three quarter of the electorate.

This comes as five ministers resigned yesterday in a major rift within the Tahoeraa