13 Oct 2006

French Polynesian opposition says it's not behind strike

5:21 pm on 13 October 2006

Two French Polynesian opposition parties have rejected government claims that they are behind the union strike which has crippled road traffic around Papeete.

In a joint statement, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira and the Aia Api parties say they are great parties that don't need a lesson in democracy from President Oscar Temaru.

His government denounced what it called terrorism by those setting up the roadblocks as part of a protest against the high cost of living.

The French high commission has also issued a statement, saying such anti-republican language cannot be used in a French entity.

It says the use of the term terrorism in connection with a roadblock is inappropriate and irresponsible.

The high commission has met the strike leader while the French Polynesian government MPs say they have been told by the high commission that they won't be received.

The Human Rights League says the blockades amount to the local population being taken hostage.