25 Apr 2012

Hollande blamed for Le Pen gains in French overseas territories

6:17 pm on 25 April 2012

The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, has blamed the Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande, for the gains of the National Front in the overseas territories during last weekend's first round of the presidential election.

The Front's Marie Le Pen broadly doubled her father's 2007 score in electorates such as New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

She says Mr Hollande bears the responsibility for her rise because he has been ambiguous in his relationship with French Polynesia's Oscar Temaru who keeps campaigning for the territory's decolonisation.

Mrs Penchard says Mr Hollande needs to break his co-operation agreement with the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira Party.

Nicolas Sarkozy of the UMP Party excelled in New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

Marine Le Pen, who is out of the race, had her worst result in Wallis and Futuna where voters preferred Mr Hollande over Mr Sarkozy.