WOMEN DEMONSTRATE IN TROUBLED PAPEETE

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PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Nov. 30) - An estimated 100 Tahitian women, referred to affectionately by the local media as "mamas," demonstrated Monday in front of Tahiti’s war memorial, calling for dissolution of the parliament and new general elections.

The demonstrators, describing themselves as being "apolitical," were protesting a French court order for the evacuation of the French Polynesia presidency. That occupation has involved supporters of former French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru.

Nora Serre, leader of the demonstration, said, "We are rising up against the ultimatum which was given for us to leave the presidency. The population refuses that. It says that this house belongs to them. The law continues to support the (French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse’s political party) Tahoera’a Huiraatira and the people no longer accept that."

Serre continued, "In the absence of the high commissioner of the (French) Republic, we decided to meet the public prosecutor in order that he reassures us that there’s no two-speed justice and that he gives us a solution to get out of this impasse."

Jacques Michaut, the high commissioner’s secretary-general, met Monday with a delegation of the women demonstrators. The high commissioner, Michel Mathieu, was in Paris for negotiations organized by the French Overseas Ministry between Tahiti’s two rival political groups. Those talks, aimed at resolving Tahiti’s political crisis, collapsed on Monday.

December 1, 2004

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

 

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