19 Apr 2006

French Polynesia's Bouteau lashes out at political turncoats

3:31 pm on 19 April 2006

The French Polynesian centrist politician, Nicole Bouteau, has hit out at the loose coalition of pro-autonomy politicians, saying they include turncoats interested in personal gains.

Ms Bouteau, who leads the No Oe e Te Nunaa Party, has issued a statement, saying the autonomy issue is only a pretext of those seeking to overthrow the government and share the spoils of power.

Her comments come after last week's assembly meeting saw the ruling Union For Democracy lose its majority following the resignation of two ministers who now side with the autonomist camp.

Several assembly members have been switching allegiance in the past two years which have seen four different governments, and the pro-autonomy camp now includes politicians who signed up for decolonisation.

The Tahoeraa Huiraatira party of Gaston Flosse has put to her an internal powersharing proposal, should he and his associates be able to oust the government.

She refuses to sign up to the anti-independence platform and notes that the Tahoeraa plan includes appointing Emile Vernaudon as president only months after he was given a one-year suspended prison sentence for corruption.