21 May 2013

Flosse calls for French Polynesia self-determination vote

9:28 pm on 21 May 2013

French Polynesia's newly elected president, Gaston Flosse, says he wants to hold a referendum on self-determination after the UN decided at the weekend to reinscribe the territory on the decolonisation list.

The decision by the General Assembly has stunned his party, which triumphed in this month's territorial election.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Gaston Flosse says he is planning such a referendum to be held according to a time line to be decided by the French President, Francois Hollande. Paris denounced the re-inscription as blatant interference and a failure to understand the democratic choice of French Polynesia. Mr Flosse also insists that he will fight any bid to restrict voting rights to long-term residents as suggested by his political rival Oscar Temaru and as Paris agreed to in the case of New Caledonia. Mr Temaru says in 1947 France had taken French Polynesia off the list without consultation. And he says before Mr Hollande became president, the two had signed a convention, recognising the right to self-determination of the people of Maohi Nui."