14 Jan 2005

President's silence on nuclear tests foreboding, says French Polynesia group

7:23 am on 14 January 2005

In the run up to February's elections in parts of French Polynesia, opponents of nuclear testing have sent out questionnaires to all the candidates to find out where they stand on the issue.

The president of Moruroa e Tatou - the association of former nuclear test site workers - says they hope to get the questionnaires back by the weekend when they are holding a public meeting to publicise the results.

Roland Oldham says he has sent many letters to the territorial President Gaston Flosse and Tahiti's two deputies on the issue, but hasn't received an answer.

Mr Oldham says if Mr Flosse doesn't return this questionnaire, that may still affect voting decisions, especially for the association's four thousand members.

"If he does not, that's very clear for the electors, isn't it? And then from there on every elector when he goes on the 13th February to vote, he knows, especially the members of our organisation, they will know for what party he should vote or not vote."

Roland Oldham says no Polynesian from the territory has ever won a French court case that linked nuclear tests with an illness or death.

Tests on the Tuamotu atolls of Moruroa and Fangataufa ended in May 1996.