2 Jul 2007

French Polynesia marks Autonomy Day

9:52 am on 2 July 2007

The pro-independence movement in French Polynesia has marked the current administration's autonomy commemorations as a day of mourning.

June the 29th was declared autonomy day by the former president, Gaston Flosse, to commemorate the day in 1880 when King Pomare V signed a declaration with France for it to be able to run the government.

About 4,000 people joined the official celebrations led by Gaston Tong Sang at the presidential palace in Papeete.

An estimated 500 people joined the opposition's Oscar Temaru in Faa'a in a march to remember the Tahitians who resisted French colonisation.

Mr Temaru has again called for fresh elections and a referendum on independence.