PAPEETE PROTESTS PLANNED OVER ELECTIONS

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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, May 1) - Oscar Temaru, leader of Tahiti’s independence political party - Tavini Huiraatira - called on supporters Saturday to organize two peaceful demonstration marches on May 15 to cut off Papeete.

"Everything will be blocked in Tahiti," Temaru announced during a press conference. "We’ve planned two processions: One will start from Mahina (north of Papeete), and the other will start from Faa’a (south of Papeete). The departure time is set for 7 am."

Both marches, directly related to the electoral campaign for the May 23 French Polynesia Assembly elections, are planned to meet at Place Tarahoi in the center of downtown Papeete in front of the statute honoring the late Tahitian politician Pouvanaa a Oopa.

Although Temaru’s party, Tavini Huiraatira, has yet to officially request permission to hold such demonstrations, Temaru said, "We plan to file a request for all that on Monday. Our objective is to do like the French in France during the recent regional elections—to overturn the government in place and install a political change," he said, calling for peaceful demonstrations.

Temaru recently said that his independence party has only one opponent in the May 23 elections—French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse’s Tahoeraa Huiraatira majority autonomy party.

The French Socialist party’s returned influence in Tahiti is expected to be confirmed next week when Axel Urgin arrives in Tahiti to sign a partnership agreement with Temaru’s Tavini Huiraatira party. Urgin is in charge of French overseas relations for the French Socialist party.

Meanwhile, Temaru announced that Tavini’s posters and program for the May 23 elections should be ready this coming week.

Temaru is the spokesman for a coalition group that includes three opposition political parties—Ai’a Api, Here Ai’a and Ia Mana Te Nunaa, none of which had enough seats to make up a recognized party in the last assembly. The "minimalist" coalition has six lists of candidates.

They are among the 33 lists totaling 576 candidates for the May 23 Assembly elections to choose a record high 57 seats, or six more than the 49 seats at sake in the last assembly elections held in 2001. President Flosse’s party won a majority of 29 seats in the 2001 elections and Temaru’s party won 10 seats. An additional four seats went to individuals not affiliated with the three other parties in the assembly.

May 3, 2004

Tahitipresse: http://www.tahitipresse.pf/index.cfm?lang=2

 

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