3 Apr 2006

French Polynesian president slammed for decolonisation calls

5:12 pm on 3 April 2006

The French overseas territories minister, Francois Baroin, says the French Polynesian president Oscar Temaru has no mandate to speak of independence.

The minister's comment comes amid weeks of exchanges between Mr Temaru and the French high commissioner in Papeete over Mr Temaru's remarks about decolonisation.

Mr Baroin has told Wellington's Dominion Post newspaper that the limits of freedom of democratic countries are exceeded when one uses one's position of responsibility to express a personal opinion instead of speaking on behalf of a community.

And he went on to say Mr Temaru has no mandate to speak of independence, especially when he is overseas.

France has granted French Polynesia an autonomy statute but refuses to re-enlist the territory on the UN decolonation list while doing so with New Caledonia after the unrest of the 1980's.