13 Mar 2006

France reprimands Temaru for remarks deemed anti-French

5:21 pm on 13 March 2006

France has reprimanded the French Polynesian President, Oscar Temaru, for his recent remarks and urged him show more restraint.

Mr Temaru was reported to have said he wanted to be known as the President of Tahiti Nui and no longer knew what French Polynesia stood for.

In a letter, the French high commissioner in Papeete, Anne Boquet, says the comments are unacceptable.

She says the term French Polynesia is inscribed in the French constitution.

Ms Boquet also says his remarks in favour of independence are of a kind that could unsettle people who want good relations with France.

There are no plans for a vote on independence and France has repeatedly refused a bid by Mr Temaru to re-enlist French Polynesia on the UN list of non-selfgoverning territories.

The former president, Gaston Flosse, has repeatedly said it may be time for an independence referendum to test Mr Temaru's support.