8 Jan 2004

French Polynesia's autonomy bill to be debated next week

5:24 pm on 8 January 2004

A new autonomy status for French Polynesia will be debated next week in the French National Assembly.

Last month the French senate endorsed the bill, which grants more self-ruling powers to the territory.

If the French Senate and National Assembly do not endorse the bill on January 13th, a committee, made up of MPs and senators will meet to fine-tune the bill and re-present it for another reading.

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Flosse, said last month that once the bill has passed both houses, the way will be open for a submission to the Constitutional Council, possibly by late February.

Flosse's party is promoting autonomy, as opposed to independence, which would eventually change French Polynesia from being an "overseas territory" to an "overseas country".