20 Jun 2012

Tong Sang fears Tahiti tension and clashes

4:36 pm on 20 June 2012

A former French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, says he fears the territory is heading towards a violent showdown given the entrenched positions of the pro-and anti-independence sides.

Mr Tong Sang made the comment in an interview with La Depeche de Tahiti after the anti-independence Tahoeraa Huiraatira won the territory's three seats in the French National Assembly.

Mr Tong Sang warns that since Oscar Temaru's pro-independence party lost the run-off election, he will become more extreme and want to move more quickly onto a path of chaos.

He says an alliance of those supporting autonomy will have to be forged but exclude the Tahoeraa as preparations begin for next year's territorial elections.

Mr Tong Sang, whose To Tatou Aia Party failed to make the second round of voting, strongly criticised the Tahoeraa campaign, describing it as very aggressive and arrogant.