8 Dec 2005

French Polynesia's Flosse again suggests independence vote

4:31 pm on 8 December 2005

French Polynesia's opposition leader, Gaston Flosse, has again raised the question of holding a referendum on the territory becoming independent from France.

Mr Flosse whose Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party lost its majority in last year's election made the suggestion in Paris during the French senate budget debate in which he is representing French Polynesia.

He says the territory's new president, Oscar Temaru, has been trying to create hostility towards France by suggesting that France was no longer supporting the people of French Polynesia.

Mr Flosse says this means that the time has come to ask the people whether they want independence.

And he says most French Polynesians are attached to to France.

Neither Mr Flosse nor Mr Temaru has organised a vote as there is no procedural provision while France has refused to consider the option.

France has also rejected repeated calls by Mr Temaru to put French Polynesia back on the UN list of non-self governing territories.