10 Dec 2003

French PM accelerates French Polynesian autonomy law

1:04 pm on 10 December 2003

The prime minister of France, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, has given urgent status to proposed laws which would give French Polynesia more powers of autonomy.

The move will accelerate the statute's passage through the French legislature and could see it becoming law early next year.

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Flosse, is to fly to Paris before Christmas where he is set to attend a first reading of the bill in the Senate.

A joint commission of the national assembly will examine the proposed statute in mid-January, and it's expected to complete its path through the French legislature by the end of next month.

It is then set to become law after a further four weeks of deliberation by the constitutional council.