19 Jul 2006

French Polynesia speech prompts calls for fresh elections

7:47 pm on 19 July 2006

The French Polynesian opposition Rautahi Party has called for the dissolution of the territorial assembly following fresh calls by President Oscar Temaru to discuss the archipelago's possible independence from France.

The Rautahi leader, Jean-Christophe Bouissou, says Mr Temaru's address to the Pacific Youth Festival urging a debate about the self-determination of the indigenous Maohi people was a misuse of his mandate for personal propaganda.

Mr Bouissou says Mr Temaru has reduced his job to some sort of caricature for independence.

He says he wants talk to other parties to see if they can go to the polls before the end of the year because his party wants to maintain its links with France.

"It is against the independence, it is against the goal of Mr Temaru. He is using today his position of president of the country to bring the country to independence. So have to react now."

Mr Bouissou says he is not against a referendum on the issue but says it would require a change to the French constitution.