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Planned coronation draws controversy

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 6, 2009) – Several associations in French Polynesia have called on the government and the French state to stop this week’s planned installation of a new King in Tahiti.

One of the claimants of the Tahitian royal title, Joinville Pomare, says the ceremony to make him King Pomare XI is to go ahead in three days in the Tahiti valley of Papenoo where he also plans to build a village near the marae.

Local groups say he has no right to claim the area chosen for the

occasion, saying he may even have forged documents during the 2004 political turmoil when he and his supporters had laid siege to the lands office in Papeete.

They warn that if the planned ceremony takes place, they will be obliged to resist it, which they say could lead to anarchy.

Joinville Pomare has meanwhile two days left to pay more than 20,000 US dollars over a controversial land deal in Mahina in order to avoid being jailed.

In June, his supporters introduced him as the new king but some decried the proceedings as a masquerade, with several other Pomares questioning the legitimacy of his claim to be king.

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