Revision of Tahiti's autonomy statute rebuffed

8:24 am on 19 November 2018

French Polynesia's opposition parties want to do away with the territory's autonomy statute after the government majority approved a raft of changes to it.

French Polynesia's assembly approves 2018 budget

French Polynesia's assembly approves 2018 budget Photo: French Polynesia presidency

Several amendments as well as new articles were approved in the territorial assembly and the French government is now expected to vet and endorse them.

However, the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira rejects the change as it wants French Polynesia to go to a referendum by 2025 on whether it should become a sovereign country associated to France.

The other opposition party, the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira, wants France to adopt a constitutional law allowing for a decolonisation process similar to the one being applied to New Caledonia.

The two opposition parties say they jointly represent a majority of voters.

In the May election, they won most votes but the ruling Tapura Huiraatira Party emerged as the biggest parties, thereby securing a third of all seats as the winner's bonus.

The Tapura has 39 of the assembly's 57 seats.