10 Nov 2003

French Polynesian government to look into aid competence query

1:13 pm on 10 November 2003

The president of the French Polynesian government, Gaston Flosse, says the claim that he acted outside his powers in giving foreign aid will be examined.

This comes as the administrative court in Papeete has asked the French council of state to give its opinion on whether Mr Flosse violated the 1996 autonomy statute by giving humanitarian aid to Fiji and Solomon Islands.

The issue was raised by a citizen in Tahiti, Rene Hoffer, who claims that giving aid is up to the French state and not within the competence of the territorial administration.

Mr Hoffer says Mr Flosse has used the vehicle of humanitarian aid to win international stature.

Mr Flosse says the matter will be examined and he will advise Mr Hoffer by mail of the findings.