Election victory means independence - Temaru

6:37 pm on 16 August 2016

The leader of French Polynesia's pro-independence movement Oscar Temaru says a win in Tahiti in next year's French presidential election would amount to self-proclaimed independence.

Papeete, capital of French Polynesia

Papeete, capital of French Polynesia Photo: RNZI

Mr Temaru made the statement in a news conference in Tahiti where he reiterated that he wants to secure the 500 backers to be able to stand in the French election.

However, he said he only wanted to win in Tahiti as part of his campaign to attain full independence for the territory.

He said nearly 40 years of autonomy had failed the territory, with tens of thousands of people now out of work as a result of its colonial legacy.

Mr Temaru also said French Polynesia only had one president and that was Francois Hollande, describing the head of the terriorial government as someone akin to a mayor.

Mr Temaru will this week leave for Paris for talks involving his election bid.

There are no plans for a referendum on independence but the territory is on the UN decolonisation list.

Mr Temaru will also travel to Kazakhstan where in Soviet times 456 nuclear weapons tests were carried out.

Kazakhstan eliminated its nuclear weapons after the collapse of the Soviet Union and has since been campaigning for a nuclear-free world by 2045 - the year of the United Nations' 100th anniversary.

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