18 Jul 2011

Sarkozy against early polls in French Polynesia

8:42 am on 18 July 2011

The French president has spoken out against holding early elections in French Polynesia despite an urgent and recent change to the electoral system - the fourth in eight years.

After describing the political scene in Tahiti as a vast comedy, Nicolas Sarkozy now says the law change will ensure political stability.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Nicolas Sarkozy has reaffirmed France's continued financial support for French Polynesia despite the army having ended its nuclear weapons testing programme. In opposition to the French Polynesian government of Oscar Temaru, he has ruled out any perspective of the territory being put back on the UN decolonisation list, which includes Guam, New Caledonia and Tokelau. He says as long as he is president, he will protect the Polynesians against such talk."

This comes amid a stepped-up campaign by Mr Temaru who this year will try, for a fifth time, to win the Pacific Islands Forum's support for the cause.