31 Jul 2004

Former French Polynesian leader slams Temaru visit

9:21 am on 31 July 2004

The leader of the opposition in French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse, has described President Oscar Temaru's recent visit to Paris as a "total failure".

Mr Flosse claims it highlights the new government's "ignorance".

Mr Flosse has told a news conference that President Temaru didn't bring back anything from his trip to Paris.

He says instead, the French government's Overseas Minister, Brigitte Girardin, told President Temaru a clear position's needed on the question of independence.

Oscar Temaru became president on June 14th, forming a majority coalition government after winning the French Polynesia Assembly elections and eventually ousting Flosse's government.

President Temaru's insisted that whilst he is still in favour of Tahiti's eventual independence from France, Tahiti is not yet ready for independence economically, and will not be ready for a referendum on independence until at least 10 years from now.