17 May 2013

Tahiti assembly votes against UN decolonisation bid

6:04 pm on 17 May 2013

French Polynesia's newly elected assembly has changed the agenda of its first session to vote to appeal to the United Nations for it to drop the territory's decolonisation resolution from tomorrow's agenda of the General Assembly.

After being elected as assembly president, Edouard Fritch acceded to the wish of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira leader, Gaston Flosse, to hold a vote to express the assembly's disapproval of the decolonisation bid in New York.

The pro-independence opposition walked out in protest at the change of the agenda, claiming he violated the rules he was tasked to enforce.

The incident came as the UN is poised to vote tomorrow on the resolution sponsored by Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Nauru in February.

France says it will abstain from the vote, claiming that self-determination cannot be imposed on those concerned.

Paris withdrew French Polynesia from the list in 1947.