Temaru to seek public support for French presidential bid

8:28 pm on 28 February 2017

French Polynesia's pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru says strong support for his presidential bid would give him a mandate to make a declaration of sovereignty.

Mr Temaru said he had now secured enough official supporters from 30 French departments and territories to stand in the French presidential election and was awaiting official confirmation of his nomination.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

He said winning the presidential race in Tahiti would be a democratic way for people to show they back the struggle for independence.

"If our people will support, will have strong support from our people we will declare our country a sovereign state with support of the United Nations, and have negotiation, organise a round table with France and members of the United Nations," Mr Temaru told RNZ International.

Mr Temaru said he would soon be visiting communities and islands in Tahiti to seek their support.

Mr Temaru's relative Moetai Brotherson earlier told AFP it would not be the first such proclamation in the French Republic.

Nor was it a dictatorial and instant act, he said.

"It will be discussed with the UN and with France, as did the New Hebrides, before it became the independent Vanuatu."

Mr Temaru said Kosovo had made a self-proclamation and France was the first country to recognise it.

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