6 Jun 2012

France accused of totalitarian antics over Tahiti RSA issue

12:40 pm on 6 June 2012

An unsuccessful candidate in last week's election in French Polynesia has accused the French state of totalitarian tactics by detaining him for 12 hours over his election campaign.

Rene Hoffer, who is a recipient of the French RSA benefit, told television audiences in the run-up to the vote that every French citizen has a right to the benefit, which he says could help tens of thousands in Tahiti living in poverty.

Mr Hoffer was summoned by the financial police and intermittently put in a cell while at one stage police officers, using blue lights, rushed him to his domicile to search it.

Mr Hoffer says the methods are totalitarian.

"The issue is very big because the issue will be to give food to 80,000 people. Nobody is interested in such an event. They prefer to keep that money all to themselves."

Rene Hoffer says he showed the officers all the court documents pertinent to his RSA entitlement.

The big election winner was the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party which has traditionally been opposed to social welfare benefits.