26 Jun 2013

Eligibility issue raised in Tahiti decolonisation listing

9:57 am on 26 June 2013

French Polynesia's delegate to the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation has called for tightened residency requirements to vote in any independence referendum.

Richard Tuheiava told the meeting in New York that the conditions should mirror those established in New Caledonia under the Noumea Accord, which imposed a residency requirement of 20 years to be able to vote.

Mr Tuheiava says it is important to realise that French Polynesia's re-inscription has happened because of the colonial nature of the status quo.

France strongly objected to the relisting last month and the new government in French Polynesia has since passed a resolution, asking the UN to rescind its decision.

The French Polynesian assembly has adopted another resolution asking France to organise a referendum on the territory's self-determination as soon as possible.

It wants the residency requirements to remain unchanged.