French Polynesia's new president, Oscar Temaru, says he accepts that most people in the territory are against independence from France.
Mr Temaru was elected by 29 members of the assembly while the rival candidate, Gaston Tong Sang of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, had the backing of 26 members.
Mr Temaru says for independence to be an option the economy needs to be developed.
"I'm very clear. I am for the independence of this country. It was the beginning of our political struggle. And we have been through different elections and the majority of the people of this country doesn't want this country to become independent. So I respect the decision of the majority of the people."
Oscar Temaru, the new president of French Polynesia