30 Aug 2006

French Polynesian test veterans to query presidential candidates

6:53 pm on 30 August 2006

The French Polynesian nuclear test veterans group, Moruroa e Tatou, plans to broaden the scope of its political and judicial campaigns.

The group has been lobbying on behalf of former weapons testing site workers who say their poor health is the result of exposure to fallout from the French nuclear weapons tests.

The president of the group, Roland Oldham, says despite evidence of health problems, the French government continues to ignore them.

Mr Oldham says the group wants to put some pressure on candidates of the next presidential election in Paris.

"Next year, in France there is an election for the president of the French republic. For us, all the candidates that will be campaigning for this election, we will be addressing them with a questionnaire with very clear questions and they have to answer to our question before the election. So this means that the electors, before they go to vote for someone they know exactly who they are voting for."

Mr Oldham also says the group will take its case to the next Pacific Forum Leaders Summit in Fiji in October, and is also thinking about approaching the United Nations.