24 Jul 2013

French presidency all but ignores Tahiti referendum request

2:59 pm on 24 July 2013

The French presidency has decided to leave unanswered a formal request by the French Polynesian assembly to organise a referendum on the territory's self-determination.

The request put to Paris was approved by 46 votes in the newly elected 57-member assembly in May

In its first official reaction to the assembly, the presidency acknowledges receipt of the correspondence, adding that the president has assured that he has taken note of it with interest.

It also says France expressed a hostile position towards the bid to re-inscribe French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation list.

The anti-independence majority says most people want to remain with France and a referendum on the matter would settle the issue.