14 Jun 2005

Further French Polynesian reaction to new autonomy bill

2:20 pm on 14 June 2005

A French Polynesian member of the French assembly, Beatrice Vernaudon, has complained to the overseas territories ministry about the sudden release of a bill aimed at restricting the territory's autonomy.

A bill was made public last week and is aimed at expanding the French high commissioner's power should France deem it necessary to intervene in the running of the territory's affairs.

Mrs Vernaudon, who is allied to France's ruling UMP Party, says it's inadmissible that parliamentarians who should be the first to know were the last ones to find out about the bill.

She has told a Tahiti newspaper that she has asked the new overseas territories minister to convene a meeting to discuss the matter.

The bill was drawn up just over a year after the French legislature adopted a new autonomy statute under urgency and at the request of the former French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse.