French Polynesia party lashes out at France after court ruling

3:14 pm on 29 October 2018

French Polynesia's pro-independence party says President Macron's France has declared open season on its opponents and has done so without shame.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru. Photo: RNZI

The Tavini Huiraatira party has reacted to the decision by France's highest court to declare the party leader Oscar Temaru ineligible for his assembly seat for a year because of election campaign finance irregularities.

Mr Temaru disputes the facts and says the experts advising the court found that he complied with the rules and should not be disqualified.

His party says in 99 percent of cases the court follows the expert opinion.

However, it alleges that Paris decided to punish him for recently announcing at the UN that all living French presidents were being taken to International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity over France's 193 nuclear weapons test.

On his return to Tahiti at the weekend, Mr Temaru said he filed the case with the ICC for the friends he had seen die and for those still suffering poor health as a result of the weapons tests.

He was met by a crowd of supporters as well as his long-time rival Gaston Flosse, who described the move against Mr Temaru as bizarre.

Gaston Flosse added that at the same time Paris approved the campaign accounts of the ruling Tapura Huiraatira party although it had patently overspent the prescribed limit.

Mr Temaru's party likened the latest development to the case of the late nationalist leader Pouvanaa a Oopa whose 1959 conviction was quashed last week.

The Maohi Protestant Church, which called for court action for two years, told the UN tis month that knowing of the impact of nuclear testing before 1963, France proceeded with the tests in French Polynesia, in what it said was a crime against humanity.

Last week the French overseas minister Annick Girardin said Mr Temaru had denigrated France and accused him of lacking a vision for Polynesia.

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