7 Jun 2010

Temaru welcomes Flosse call for French Polynesia independence vote

10:18 am on 7 June 2010

French Polynesia's pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru, has welcomed a call by the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party for a referendum on independence from France.

The Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, made the surprise suggestion after Mr Temaru advocated that the vote be held soon after proposing last month to declare independence, should he win the next election.

Mr Flosse says the issue has to be settled.

Reacting to Mr Flosse, Mr Temaru has now not excluded putting forward a joint plan.

Mr Temaru went on to suggest that a vote could be held in 2014 which is the earliest date New Caledonia can hold a referendum on possible independence.

Several politicians, including Mr Flosse's deputy, decline to comment on the initiative taken by Mr Flosse.