The former French Polynesia president, Gaston Flosse, has challenged President Oscar Temaru's right to request the Pacific Forum for help in "de-colonising" the territory.
During the first day of the Pacific Forum, being held in Apia, Mr Temaru asked the member countries to help French Polynesia re-register on the United Nations list of countries to be decolonised.
Mr Flosse says President Temaru's request shows that he means to pursue independence from France much earlier than his stated declaration of up to 20 years.
A statement issued by Mr Flosse's party, Tahoera'a Huiraatira, says President Temaru's pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira party attracted only 40 per cent of the vote in the election.
The statement says Mr Temaru therefore has no mandate to ask for the Forum's support for such a move.