21 May 2007

Positive reaction from French Polynesia to new French government

6:09 am on 21 May 2007

There has been a largely positive reaction in French Polynesia to the presentation of the new French government led by Francois Fillon.

The new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, chose a cross-party line-up for his 15-member cabinet which includes a Socialist as foreign minister but no longer includes a designated minister in charge of overseas territories.

Issues concerning the overseas communities are now being dealt with by

the interior minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, who used to hold the defence portfolio in the conservative governments led by Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Dominique de Villepin.

A politician of Tahiti's ruling party, Bruno Sandras has welcomed her appointment.

The opposition's Oscar Temaru says Mrs Alliot-Marie has the appearance of a person of dialogue and she has proven that she can discuss with opponents of the French state.

The local centrist Fetia Api Party says her appointment reflects the continuity of the Chirac years.