24 Oct 2003

French Polynesian opposition seeks referendum on Statute of Autonomy

11:39 am on 24 October 2003

Opposition politicians in French Polynesia are writing to the French President, Jacques Chirac, asking him to allow a referendum on the proposed new Statute of Autonomy.

The Statute has just been approved by the Council of Ministers in France and will now go before the Senate and the National Assembly.

But Opposition politicians say its undemocratic as it allows the Executive to make and pass laws and allows a non-elected person to become President.

Opposition MP, Loic Brigato says they want a referendum of all French Polynesians asking whether they are for or against the Statute.

He says, if they don't get their way, they will take further action.

"If the good rights of the people are not respected, we believe that maybe the street - and the more the opposition is thinking about that, about demonstrations, if the debate is not organised by the correct organisations, the debate will occur in the streets."