Tahiti calls for independence vote

8:35 am on 7 November 2018

New Caledonia's independence referendum has prompted French Polynesia's pro-independence party to ask France to organise a vote on full self-rule in Tahiti.

President Macron of France hosts French Polynesia's Edouard Fritch

President Macron of France hosts French Polynesia's Edouard Fritch Photo: Presidency of French Polynesia

This comes after 56 percent of New Caledonians voted against independence amid a record 81 percent turnout.

French Polynesia's Tavini Huiraatira Party said the result was a bitter repudiation of France's colonial policies in the Pacific.

The referendum call by the Tavini echoes a similar push in 2013 when Edouard Fritch unsuccessfully called for a vote on independence by the end of that year.

Mr Fritch, who is now the president but was the head of the assembly at the time, said it was important to ask the people what they wanted.

The Tavini says it wants France to follow the decolonisation path outlined by the United Nations and allow the people of Maohi Nui to have an independence vote.

While France recognises New Caledonia's inscription on the UN decolonisation list, Paris refuses to do so in French Polynesia's case.

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