22 Dec 2007

Tahoeraa denounces suggested split of French Polynesia

11:51 am on 22 December 2007

French Polynesia's opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira party has spoken out against possible secession of the Marquesas islands as being suggested by local mayors.

The proposal to create a new French overseas possession has outraged political leaders in Tahiti, with President Oscar Temaru denouncing the floating of the idea as an act of state terrorism by France.

The Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, says the junior French overseas territories minister, Christian Estrosi, is trying to divide and rule by encouraging talk of breaking away from French Polynesia.

And he says this is unrealistic as France would not pay for an international airport in the Marquesas as the archipelago's population is below 9,000.

Mr Flosse says the mayors pushing for new ties with Paris have no global vision for French Polynesia but simply want to run their own kingdoms.