4 Nov 2005

Opposition walkout over alleged insult by French Polynesian leader

2:29 pm on 4 November 2005

Members of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party have walked out of today's assembly sitting in French Polynesia, saying they have been insulted by the vice-president, Jacqui Drollet.

The walk-out came during question time in the budget debate after Mr Drollet replied in an exchange that the opposition MP was no longer an example for the children.

This followed opposition accusations that President Oscar Temaru's comments to a New Zealand newspaper were bombs that annihilated in one blow all efforts to promote tourism.

The newspaper article claimed that up to five people a day were flown to New Zealand for treatment for health problems caused by the French nuclear weapons tests.

Meanwhile, media reports from Tahiti say that some outer island MPs are about to form a separate faction which would deprive the ruling Union For Democracy of its absolute majority.