23 May 2013

Urgency in resolution on planned Tahiti independence vote

7:40 pm on 23 May 2013

French Polynesia's new president, Gaston Flosse, says he expects a resolution to be completed this week formally asking Paris to organise a referendum on self-determination.

He says the matter is urgent and should be in front of the French President Francois Hollande within days.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Mr Flosse has again expressed outrage that the UN General Assembly last week approved his predecessor's bid to reinscribe French Polynesia on the UN list of territories to be decolonised. He firmly rejects any analogy with New Caledonia, saying it had a civil war, adding that in the proposed resolution, there will be no restriction of voting rights to long-term residents. The opposition's Oscar Temaru says he would like to exclude those who moved to Tahiti after 1966 from any independence referendum. This has prompted the assembly president to suggest that only those who shook James Cook's hand should get to vote to make sure all voters are pure Maohi."