8 Jul 2013

France asked to recognise Tahitian as official language

5:36 am on 8 July 2013

French Polynesia's territorial assembly has passed a resolution, asking France to recognise Tahitian as an official language.

The resolution calls on the French president to amend the constitution, possibly as soon as in two weeks when the French legislature is convened for its Congress.

The bid follows last month's French supreme court ruling to strike out two local laws about pension provisions because not all of the debate in the French Polynesian assembly had been in French.

The pro-independence opposition abstained from the vote, with one member rejecting the notion that Tahitians need to ask France to be allowed to use their own language.

Its leader, Oscar Temaru, added that he would prefer that French was banned in the assembly.

Currently, all debates in Tahiti have simultaneous translations and all records are kept in French.