9 Nov 2007

French Polynesia's ruling party chides Estrosi

4:19 pm on 9 November 2007

French Polynesia's ruling party has lashed out at the French overseas territories minister, Christian Estrosi, who completed a visit to the territory a week ago.

The Union For Democracy says it didn't want to share its views while he was present but now accuse him of having intervened excessively and adopted a neo-colonial and authoritarian tone.

The party's Myron Mataoa says the minister also tried to convey a picture of a stronger presence of France in the territory as a result of the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as French president.

Mr Mataoa has also taken issue with Mr Estrosi's local visits to various sites, objecting to his unprecedented visit to the grave of the Tahitian nationalist leader, Pouvanaa a Oopa, who was exiled by France after being convicted and jailed for subversion.

Mr Mataoa says the attempt to rehabilitate Pouvanaa is a serious matter.