16 Feb 2004

Opposition in French Polynesia promises to keep fighting Autonomy Statute

4:45 pm on 16 February 2004

The leader of an opposition party in French Polynesia says he has complained to the United Nations about legislation granting greater autonomy to his country.

Stanley Cross, the leader of the Te Hono Party, says he has complained to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Committee and will take the matter up with other European human rights groups.

Mr Cross reiterates the views of other Opposition politicians who say that the Autonomy Statute, which has just been passed, favours the majority party of the French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse.

And, Mr Cross says it goes against basic human rights.

"You know, when you [deliver] to the people a new statute you have to ask for him, for these people, what his opinion, for this new statute. And they don't ask for us by a referendum, you know. It's like our party put a complaint about that, we say that's a violation of human rights and people's rights."

Stanley Cross.

The statute gives French Polynesia more powers to decide labour, land-tenure and other issues but France retains control over money supply and defence.