5 Oct 2005

Centrist parties cool on French Polynesian law for change of national day

2:43 pm on 5 October 2005

Two of French Polynesia's centrist parties say they will not vote for a proposed law to make November the 20th a special day.

The proposal is one of three bills before the assembly which is discussing the first ever bills to be made into so-called laws of the land under the new autonomy statute granted by France last year.

Philip Schyle of the Fetia Api Party says he and his assembly colleague, Nicole Bouteau, regard the date change as not urgent.

French Polynesia has been marking June the 29th as autonomy day following a decision by the former president, Gaston Flosse.

Mr Schyle has told the Tahitipresse news agency that a change of government also means a change of date which he says is a move likely to divide people.

He says the plan to create a so-called country day doesn't sit well as it implies that French Polynesia is a sovereign country.

Mr Schyle says instead there should be a day of French Polynesia.