PAPEETE DEMONSTRATERS PROTEST INSTABILITY

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Revolving door presidency hurts economy

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, May 2, 2010) - Around 450 persons marched in the streets of Papeete, Tahiti Saturday to protest against political instability in French Polynesia and its effects on the economy.

The march was organized by one of French Polynesia's main trade union, A Tia I Mua.

The A Tia I Mua secretary general Jean-Marie Yan Tu called for all workers to be united for this march.

Yan Tu said last month during a press conference that this was to be considered as a warning for political leaders.

Yan Tu had added that France should organize snap Assembly elections.

But French President Nicolas Sarkozy has replied since in a letter to French Polynesia President Gaston Tong Sang that an electoral reform prior to snap elections is necessary.

A bill will have to be introduced in the French Parliament to make the changes needed.

[PIR editor’s note: The previous Tahitipresse reported that "French Overseas minister Marie-Luce Penchard recently gave new details in Paris about the electoral reform for French Polynesia. A delegation will be sent to Tahiti by the end of May to discuss the new electoral system". It will be led by Jacques Barthélémy, from the French State Council. See previous story.]

This will only be done by the end of 2010 and new elections could not be held before 2011.

A Tia I Mua claims 7,800 jobs have been lost in French Polynesia since August 2008.

One of French Polynesia's major hotels, the Hilton, located in Tahiti's west coast commune of Faa'a closed March 31.

Around 130 employees reportedly lost their job due to the hotel closure.

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