Temaru in Tahiti assembly ceremony stunt

5:44 pm on 12 March 2016

French Polynesia's pro-independence politicians, led by Oscar Temaru, have briefly seized the podium of the assembly to unfurl a banner which said 'Welcome to the National Assembly of Maohi Nui'.

Oscar Temaru

Oscar Temaru Photo: RNZI

The incident occurred as the assembly was signing to mark the start of its 70th anniversary celebrations.

The assembly president eventually succeeded to regain the podium.

This comes amid moves by France to tweak the territory's autonomy statute while ignoring the decolonisation process under the auspices of the United Nations.

Mr Temaru is pushing for the territory to regain full independence from France.

His long-term rival, Gaston Flosse, is campaigning for what he calls Tahiti Nui to become an associated state of France.

He said the concept had the full backing of his Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party on all levels and it is expected to be presented in the French National Assembly by the territory's three members, who all belong to the Taheoraa.

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