31 May 2005

French Polynesian leaders respond to French rejection of European constitution

5:23 pm on 31 May 2005

One of French Polynesia's members of the French assembly says she hopes more countries will reject the European Union constitution so that a fresh start can be made.

Beatrice Vernaudon, who is associated with France's ruling party, made the comment after the rejection of the proposed document which in turn had been approved by voters in all of France's Pacific territories.

Mrs Vernaudon also says French Polynesia cannot remain by itself and the European Union may offer a reference point.

The president of French Polynesia, Oscar Temaru, agrees with Mrs Vernaudon that France is beset with unemployment problems but he says Jean-Paul Raffarin as the prime minister is not the only one responsible for the situation.

Mr Temaru, who met Mr Raffarin in Paris less than a month ago, says it appears the no-vote in the referendum was more aimed at sanctioning President Jacques Chirac.