5 Oct 2007

Temaru off to Paris as French Polynesia opposes reform

2:10 pm on 5 October 2007

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, says he will fly to Paris tomorrow to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy over the planned reforms for Tahiti.

The French Polynesian assembly is overwhelmingly opposed to the French government's plan to shorten the term of the current assembly and call fresh elections in January under a new electoral system.

Mr Temaru says when he meets Mr Sarkozy on Monday or Tuesday, he will be the spokesperson for all Polynesian people.

He says he will remind Mr Sarkozy of his comments made in New York last week when he said there would be no land where the right of the local people would not be respected.

In 2004, French Polynesia was granted greater autonomy as a so-called overseas country but since then it has seen four no confidence motions succeed because of shifting allegiances among the assembly members.