Petition for sovereignty launched in French Polynesia

1:30 pm on 1 August 2020

French Polynesia's pro-independence opposition party has launched a petition for the right to sovereignty of the people of Maohi Nui.

The petition by the Tavini Huiraatira party was launched outside the courts in Papeete in the presence of dozens fo supporters and will be open for signature for a year.

Oscar Temaru

Oscar Temaru Photo: supplied

The petition is expected to be submitted to the French president, the Secretary General of the United Nations and to the Pacific Islands Forum.

In 2013, French Polynesia was returned onto the UN list of territories to be decolonised but France refused to engage in any decolonisation process.

No referendum on independence had ever been held.

Those signing the petition were also asked to donate $US10 towards the cause which also included demands for compensation for the damage caused by France's nuclear weapons tests.

Its launch was foreshadowed by the Tavini leader, Oscar Temaru, last month when he asked for the justice system to be transferred from French control to local control.

He is locked into a court case with the French prosecutor which the court in Tahiti said it could not rule on and subsequently decided to move to New Caledonia.

Temaru was convicted but while he appealed a fresh investigation was opened, with the prosecutor seizing his savings, allegedly to stop them from being spent.

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