1 May 2012

Sarkozy's French Polynesia attachment queried

6:54 pm on 1 May 2012

As the French presidential election campaign nears its end, supporters of the Socialists in French Polynesia have derided the incumbent's attachment to the territory.

Nicolas Sarkozy's only Pacific trip as President was to New Caledonia last year.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"French Polynesia's ruling pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira Party is the official partner of the French Socialists. In a statement backing Francois Hollande, it says Nicolas Sarkozy's attachment to the territory is a tired electoral illusion as he promised already before the 2007 polls that he would visit once elected. Mr Sarkozy's partner in Tahiti, Gaston Tong Sang, says a visit was not possible because the Tavini leader, Oscar Temaru, came to power, but should he be returned to the presidency on Sunday he will visit Papeete before the year is out. As part of the ruling French UMP's campaign, it sent the finance minister, Francois Baroin, for a one-day rally to Tahiti last month, with voters a week later giving Mr Sarkozy more support than any electorate in mainland France."