1 Jun 2013

French Polynesia asks for independence vote, rejects UN stance

6:31 am on 1 June 2013

The French Polynesian assembly has adopted a resolution asking France to organise a referendum on the territory's self-determination.

The resolution was tabled by the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira and approved by 46 votes in the newly elected 57-member assembly.

It was also backed by the opposition pro-autonomy A Tia Porinetia Party while the 11 members of the pro-independence Union For Democracy abstained.

The assembly vote came less than two weeks after the UN General Assembly re-inscribed French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation list.

With identical support, the majority in the assembly adopted a second resolution asking the UN to rescind its decision.

It has said the world body defied the wish of the French Polynesian voters who last month elected politicians keen to maintain the current autonomy provisions with France.

The Kingdom of Tahiti was annexed in 1880 but the islands have been granted increased autonomy, notably in 2004 when they became a so-called overseas country.