2 Sep 2013

French Polynesia confident of setting referendum date by year end

7:08 pm on 2 September 2013

The leader of the French Polynesia Assembly says a date for a referendum on independence could be set by the end of the year.

Edouard Fritch says President Gaston Flosse asked France to facilitate the referendum on independence, as he respects the will of the people of French Polynesia.

Mr Fritch disagreed that Paris' lack of response so far to the request was a lack of respect to the territory.

Mr Flosse moved a resolution in the assembly last week to inform the Pacific Islands Forum that a majority is against the territory's reinscription on the UN decolonisation list.

Mr Fritch says it's important to put the question to the people.

"We have to decide on the date, when, when is it the right time to organise it. So discussion I think will be organised in maybe before the end of this year. But we want it, Mr Flosse asked it because I think that it is important to ask the population what they want today."

Edouard Fritch.