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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Oct. 3) – French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru gave a televised speech Friday night to reassure residents about their future, while accusing his arch political rival of wanting to reverse the results of the May 23 Assembly elections.

Temaru’s short speech quickly turned into a settling of scores with former French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse.

While addressing rumors of a possible motion of censure, Temaru expressed confidence in his coalition government even though he finds himself one vote shy of the majority coalition he had when he took office on June 14.

The lines of his face drawn taught, Temaru told his television audiences that he wanted to "answer the population’s questions" in view of persistent rumors lately that Flosse’s opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira autonomy party may decide to file a motion of censure in the 57-seat French Polynesia Assembly.

Although Flosse’s party said during a press conference Thursday that it had no intention of filing a censure motion, Temaru accused Flosse of wanting to reverse the voters’ decision by using "anti-democratic actions".

Temaru devoted most of his speech to attacking Flosse, delivering his speech first in Tahitian and then in French on Tahiti’s two TV stations—French Polynesia’s TNTV and the French State’s Télé Polynésie operated by RFO.

Temaru invited Flosse to appear with him on TV "so that all is transparent, so that things are said before everyone. No, I believe that if Mr. Gaston Flosse wants to reverse this government, it is because he’s afraid of the audit that was set up on Monday."

The audit ordered by Temaru’s government of the previous Flosse government is expected to take three months.

"We will discover, the population will discover certain things that can end up with legal penalties. That’s what the ex-president of the government is afraid of," Temaru told his TV audience.

But Temaru added, "If Gaston Flosse returns to power, I don’t know what the population will do. But he will be the only person responsible."

Temaru also accused Flosse of using "mafia methods" to hold "all these meetings with everyone to try and buy the confidence of our people, to steal the victory that we won democratically on May 23".

Despite public demonstrations of discontent from three members of Tamaru’s Majority Coalition for Democracy, two other members of the coalition recently resigned, becoming independent Assembly members with no political party affiliation. They joined a third independent who quit Flosse’s opposition party following the May 23 elections.

That leaves Temaru’s coalition with 28 seats, or one short of a majority. Flosse’s opposition party has 26 Assembly seats. But upon leaving the RFO studio Friday night, Temaru said, "We’re at least 29."

During his televised speech, Temaru said the members of his government were "serene", adding, "We’re serene about the future of our country. I must tell your that we discovered the departments of our country, the management of our country, in a very difficult situation," again a reference to the operation of the previous Flosse government.

But Temaru’s speech was also positive. "At the moment, the machine is already turning, development projects are being set up, working meetings are being organized.

"We are also there to put in place our electoral promises that we made right and left. And we will do it, of course, together with the economic players of our country, with the trade union organizations, with the employers’ organizations," Temaru said.

"Our first concern is the future of our children, the future of the next generation," he said. "We must have time to run this country’s affairs."

October 4, 2004

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


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