open letter from moorea to paris

EDITORIAL > Tahiti Pacifique Magazine > May 2007

Open letter to the new Mr. President of the Republic

The voters will have decided on May 5 which of you will be the new arii (chief) of the French, therefore also of French Polynesia.

I congratulate both because you promised radical change; more democracy, more transparency, more equity with us, in short, more on the whole.

We believe in the sincerity of your engagement and that explains the reason for this public call.

After being elected and installed with grand pomp in the gildings of the Elysium and the splendours of your supreme position, I hope that you will find one moment to lean towards French Polynesia, small dustings of empire 20,000 kilometres from Paris, populated by 260,000 French citizens.

Indeed, the Republic has a small problem at the end of the world to which I wish to draw your attention. I will explain.

Certainly because of context of distance, geographical and cultural, but also by reason of “political fiefdoms” founded during mandates of your presidential predecessors, there settled in our sunny islands a system of governorship, of management which is no longer in harmony with some of the sage and equitable rules imposed by the Constitution of the large democratic country that is France.

This subtle drift, even political manipulation, sometimes carried out with the complicity of Paris, allowed all kinds of networks, often involving political racketeers, to settle and make possible a certain oligarchy to impose itself at the head of a trustful and often still innocent population.

Two generations of politicians profiting from the generosities which such a system offers ensured adoption by all political parties.

Economic assessment of these networks shows French Polynesia becoming a territory with the highest cost of living in the world as indicated, inter alia, by the report of national assembly member, Deputy Jean-Pierre Brard, of March 2007.

This local oligarchy, confident of assured profits in its impunity, confirmed many times, is at present hounding those who dare reveal or expose their excesses. You will be able to understand this in the context of our micro insular isolation where all possible outcomes are disastrous.

Madam or Mr. President, you may answer: “let us see, there are the countervailing powers, such as the chamber of auditors or Justice.”

Yes, indeed.

With regard to the CTC, the Chambre Terrirotorial des Comptes, it does work very well, and it should be mentioned that the last report to the Chamber of Accountants, read in solemn sitting, is proof of this

But, alas, CTC seems to be preaching alone in the desert, for few of its recommendations are followed by actions because of what resembles paralysis of the court system in Papeete.

Such a “paralysis” that the Office of Accounts had itself to lodge a lawsuit in order to declare 27 of some 100 solicitors “fictitious employees” within the presidential palace, at the time under the Flosse government, recognised in a final judgment as an “account of guilty facts” for “irregular extractions from public funds.”

As for Justice, alas, it seems that in our islands, when it touches on certain notable policies, it sometimes resembles more a “Court of Protection” than a countervailing power.

For example, the fictitious employees scandal has had hard evidence for nearly 10 years, with procedures ending in places astonishingly outside of regulations; of examining magistrates handicapped by strict executive order; of adjournments to criminal charges on erroneous basis (which then makes it possible to benefit from regulations against late lawsuits); of indictments which resemble extreme pleadings, and final judgments which are not voluntarily applied; in short the use of a thousand and one ‘easy ways’ to ‘circumvent’ execution of justice.

To illustrate the situation, allow me to detail an example offered by GIP, the Groupe d'intervention de la Polynèsie, a militia installed by an old government and suspected of the murder of a political opponent.

A lawsuit in 2005 denounced the existence of a “spy cell” installed inside the GIP buildings and given the role of following political opponents in their private life as well as in their public life, filming not just them and their friends but also people familiar to President Gaston Flosse, by filming or photographing them in everyday life.

From 1997 to May 2004, with this intention, the president of the territory recruited intelligence agents of military origin to set up within his institution a service of studies and documentation (SED) as well as the “spy cell.”

In spite of another report by the CTC devoting a whole chapter to this “activity of illicit information gathering,” not only no judicial action seems to be engaged, but the chief of this spy cell and his men were then allowed to blockade the port of Papeete, several times for days.

This chief then stormed and occupied the presidency, the assembly and territorial advisory body CESC, the Council of Economics, Society and Culture, being driven out by teargas grenades from riot police.

This “untouchable chief” praises himself as a protected “protege” and is not worried nor investigated for his illegal actions. Today he occupies another public office, fatly remunerated, as if it were an appreciation of his activities.

On the other hand, astonishing levels of immunity are not provided for those daring to inquire or expose the grave and multiple actions of this GIP. Or of the oligarchy which, at present, is back to the businesses.

Thus we see a young man exposed, in front of a public officer, an assassination perpetrated by the GIP; an examining magistrate perhaps too independent; a lawyer who within the framework of his functions collected testimony on this spy cell and a journalist who inquired and published the mistakes; they, all, were quickly condemned on frankly fallacious basis, while a captain of the gendarmerie with 30 years of impeccable service awaits his verdict, apparently having displeased a high-ranking magistrate.

Following this enumeration of undeniable facts, Mister President of the Republic, you will understand the urgency for sending to Tahiti a courageous and really independent board of inquiry, in order to quickly return a certain serenity to the Polynesian people who live on splendid islands and atolls, this ‘last Paradise’ so essential for the collective mentality of industrialised countries, trying to develop harmoniously under the generous supervision of France, homeland of Human Rights.

Alex du Prel
Tahiti Pacifique


> roughly translated from French by avaiki news agency

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