French Polynesia's pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru, has sharply criticised the president of the French Assembly's law commission, Jean-Jacques Urvoas, who is on a visit to Tahiti.
Reviewing the territory's statute, Mr Urvoas told local media about the differences between New Caledonia and French Polynesia, saying the latter is defined as an overseas country whose bid to be decolonised is being challenged.
Mr Temaru says such comments show that the French state, irrespective of the political leadership, is fundamentally colonial.
He says the territory's label as overseas country has no legal value and it remains an overseas possession.
Mr Temaru also says that Mr Urvoas is wrong to talk about French Polynesia's inscription on the UN list of territories to be decolonised, pointing out that it had originally been on the list and was returned to it two years ago.
He says Mr Urvoas's current work on the statute is nothing but cosmetics on a gangrenous leg, which means France again fails in its duty to accompany peoples under its control to attain their sovereignty.