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French Polynesian legislative election, 2004
In a surprise result Oscar Temaru's pro-independence progressive coalition forms Government with a one seat majority in the 57 seat parliament, defeating the conservative parties led by Gaston Flosse. On October 8 the Gaston Flosse led opposition parties succeed in passing a censure motion against the Government provoking a political crisis.
A major topic of controversy is whether the national government of France should use its exceptional power to call for new elections in a local government, in case of a grave political crisis.
23 May : Elections for the territorial assembly of French Polynesia held. A progressive coalition lead by pro-independence Oscar Temaru wins twenty six seats and forms a coalition with three autonomist members to form a Government with a majority of one. Conservative parties led by Gaston Flosse have twenty eight seats.
10 June : Former President, Gaston Flosse, and his conservative party, Tahoeraa Huiraatira, stayed away from the presidential election, thus invalidating it, as a three-fifths quorum was required. He subsequently lost one defector to Temaru.
14 June : Temaru elected President (when a simple majority quorum was required), gaining 30 out of 57 votes.
5 October : Two motions of censure tabled in the Territorial Assembly. One from Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira party, and one from a new group, Te Ara, that includes three former members of Flosse’s party. (tahitipresse)
9 October : A motion of censure tabled by the conservative Tahoeraa Huiraatira, Gaston Flosse's party, was adopted by 29 votes out of 57. The motion was proposed by opposition leader Gaston Flosse after Temaru ordered an audit of the previous government, which was led by Flosse. A second censure motion was not voted upon. (Radio Australia) (tahitipresse)
Assembly President, Antony Géros , from Oscar Temaru's coalition government, insisted that the parliament should meet on October 25 to elect a new government president. However, this date was against the advice of French High Commissioner Michel Mathieu who stated in written letters that the Assembly is required to vote on a new government president within 15 days of the passage of a censure motion. The third Vice president of the Assembly, Lana Tetuanui from Gaston Flosse’s party, called for the Assembly to sit on 20th October. (tahitipresse)
15 October : Second request by Oscar Temaru for fresh elections denied by French minister for overseas Territories Brigitte Girardin . (Oceania Flash)
16 October : More than 20,000 people march through Papeete on the main island of Tahiti in support of Oscar Temaru demanding new elections. Demonstrations also occur across French Polynesia. (tahitipresse)
19 October : French Polynesia’s caretaker government president, Oscar Temaru, has asked the Papeete administrative court to suspend, then cancel the Oct. 9 adopted censure motion. (tahitipresse)
20 October : Territorial Assembly meets, but is unable to elect a new president as there is not a required quorum in attendance due to a boycott of members supporting Oscar Temaru. (Oceania Flash)
22 October : Territorial Assembly meets to elect President. Simple Majority required. Gaston Flosse was re-elected by a one-vote majority and sworn in immediately during a parliamentary session boycotted by caretaker President Oscar Temaru. The parliament elected Flosse with 29 of 57 votes; the 28 pro-independence members boycotted the vote.
Antony Géros , the French Polynesia Assembly president, did not participate in Friday’s session, and also described Flosse’s election Friday as an "election of the president of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira," which is a reference to Flosse’s pro-autonomy party. Geros said that Monday, October 25, is the only legitimate date for the parliament to elect a government president following the censure motion. (tahitipresse)
23 October : a Council of State (French national supreme administrative court) judge rejected two petitions from Tahiti to suspend the Oct. 9 censure motion that toppled French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru’s majority coalition government. (tahitipresse)
26 October : Tensions remain high in French Polynesia as the Leadership remains in doubt. The Legislative Assembly failed to sit on Monday 25 October. Assembly Speaker, Antony Géros , failed to turn up and chair the sitting he himself had scheduled. Gaston Flosse, who was elected President by an assembly sitting on 22 October, attempted to enter the Presidential palace on the weekend but was met by closed gates. (Oceania Flash)
15 November: The Council of State, judging on a request from Gaston Flosse, cancels the May elections in the Îles-du-Vent circonscription. (decision, communiqué, in French), for the reason that the neutrality of election officials was not observed in one of the communes, which, given the small difference of vote counts, may have alterated the electoral results.
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