7 Jan 2016

Tahiti rulers won't back Temaru's Paris bid

2:16 pm on 7 January 2016

French Polynesia's dominant political group says it won't support a bid by the veteran pro-independence politician Oscar Temaru to stand for the French presidency next year.

Mr Temaru said he hoped to secure enough support for a candidacy which would give him a national stage in France to draw attention to the decolonisation process.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

He said his bid was not meant to try to win the election in France but to unite the territory's people who he says has been divided for years.

The ruling Tapura Huiraatira group says it won't support a candidate who is not in favour of autonomy.

A disgraced former president, Gaston Flosse, has said France is a free country.

Mr Temaru, who has been French Polynesia's president five times, says the challenge is to secure 500 backers for the candidacy as they have be found among elected representatives in at least 30 different departments or territories of France.