1 Jul 2013

Tahiti opposition unconcerned about UN vote boycott threat

3:25 pm on 1 July 2013

The French Polynesian opposition has shrugged off a threat by the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira to boycott a self-determination referendum if it is organised by the United Nations.

The ruling party itself wants to have a plebiscite as soon as possible but organised by France and without restricting voting rights to long-term residents.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The president Gaston Flosse, has again rebuked the UN for returning the territory onto the decolonisation list last May, accusing the world body of being dictatorial. His latest attack came on Autonomy Day in Papeete which the rival pro-independence side marked on the other side of town by hoisting the UN flag. The opposition says the public needs education so that the indigenous people can decide its future, but Mr Flosse says a majority wants to stay with France and this should be tested in a referendum. While France failed to stop the UN decision in New York, it has chosen to remain silent on Mr Flosse's plea to organise a referendum in French Polynesia."