CLASHES WITHIN FRENCH POLYNESIA’S PRO-INDEPENDENCE TAVINI HUIRAATIRA PARTY

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PAPE‘ETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia (February 2, 20021 – Tahitipresse)--- Tavini Huiraatira independence movement President Oscar Temaru said Wednesday that he was disappointed by the French State Council's invalidation of the election of Maryse-Tautiare Ollivier, a Tavini member, to the Assembly of French Polynesia during the 2001 Territorial poll in 2001.

He called it a "colonial decision."

Maryse-Tautiare Ollivier, a Tahitian who lived many years in France, had been back in Tahiti less than two years before she joined the Tavini electoral list and, therefore, was declared not a legal candidate.

As a result of her rejection, Mr. Temaru expelled another Tavini member, Loic Brigato, Chairman of the Telefenua local TV station, saying he was responsible for bringing this case to the French State Council.

Mr. Brigato, who fell short of being elected as a Tavini member, will benefit from Ms. Ollivier's invalidation, as he will replace her in the Assembly of French Polynesia.

He said he will not represent any specific political party.

Mr. Temaru said that the case was a "setup by the French socialist party."

He wondered why the French service in charge of controlling the elections did not prevent this situation from happening when all Tavini candidates were known before the 2001 election.

"This judgment is unfair," Mr. Temaru said. "In the meantime, any European citizen can vote and even be a candidate in French Polynesia if he stays here for just six months."

Meantime, the president of the Tavini Huiraatira has also called for a referendum on independence in Tahiti in the months to come.

"Only people born in Polynesia would vote" in this referendum, he said.

The Tavini president added that he is backed in the move by the new majority in the Cook Islands, including Deputy Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry.

The issue of Tahiti's independence will again be raised at the next Pacific Islands Forum meeting, to be held in Suva, Fiji in August, he said.

For additional reports from Tahiti Press, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources: Agence Tahitienne de Presse.

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