TAHITI COURT ASKED TO ANNUL FLOSSE PRESIDENCY

Losing candidate Tong Sang cites irregularities

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 27, 2008) – The French Polynesian opposition is reported to have lodged an appeal with the French supreme court, asking it to annul last weekend’s election of Gaston Flosse as the new president.

The leader of the opposition To Tatou Aia coalition, Gaston Tong Sang, who narrowly lost in the vote, says the election in the assembly was flawed for four reasons.

He says the secrecy of the vote was not assured, Mr Flosse failed to give a proper government programme, Oscar Temaru was late in withdrawing his candidacy and nine assembly members were not eligible to vote because they were also ministers in the outgoing administration.

The supreme court is expected to rule within 72 hours.

After the 2004 election, the supreme court annulled the election of 37 of the assembly’s 57 members because of irregularities, including the use of blue curtains in a voting station which allegedly favoured the winning parties identifying themselves with blue colours.

There were no foreign election observers in 2004 and none this year.

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