7 May 2007

French Polynesian opposition hopes for change in Sarkozy stance

3:48 pm on 7 May 2007

An opposition politician in French Polynesia, Tea Hirshon, says she hopes the French president-elect, Nicolas Sarkozy, will review some of his comments about those pushing for the territory's independence.

She says Mr Sarkozy's campaign comment that a only few ideologues talk about independence and make it their business was both condescending and insulting.

Ms Hirshon says the outgoing President Jacques Chirac never spoke in such a way.

She also says her party won 40 percent in the last election and has pursued a non-violent policy.

"I'm a bit afraid that if he doesn't review his comments and his way of accepting the fact that there is a pro-sovereignty movement here, that if he can push the movement to radicalise the movement."

Tea Hirshon says although the Socialist candidate, Segolene Royal, lost the election, she won a majority in many outer islands which traditionally voted for the conservative party candidate.