4 Feb 2004

French autonomy statute challenged in French constitutional council

11:13 am on 4 February 2004

An appeal has been lodged with the French constitutional council in Paris over the autonomy statute for French Polynesia which was adopted by the legislature last week.

This was announced by Jean-Claude Gaudin who is a senator of the UMP party.

The news agency AFP reports that he claims that the move is backed by about sixty legislators.

For the statute to come into effect it is to be signed off by the constitutional council.

The new autonomy statute was opposed in parliament by the Socialist Party and some members of French Polynesia's assembly who claim the change gives to much power to the territorial president.

Under the new statute French Polynesia will be given more powers to decide labour and land tenure issues, as well as powers over civil aviation, and in representing itself overseas.

France will retain control over money supply and defence.