Tahiti Pro-Independence Leader: Autonomy Is A Failure

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Temaru to use French Presidential bid to raise decolonization issue

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 5, 2016) – French Polynesia's pro-independence opposition leader, Oscar Temaru, says he wants to stand for the French presidency next year because Tahiti's autonomy has not worked.

Mr Temaru says his ambition is not to move into the Elysee Palace but to become the highest scoring election candidate in French Polynesia as part of his campaign to decolonise the territory.

He says the autonomy status is almost 40 years old yet it is a failure.

"It has been modified, updated and retailored and it is a failure that even Gaston Flosse now recognises. We are now at this stage and write new chapters in this book of Maohi Nui - freedom."

Oscar Temaru says the challenge is to secure 500 backers for the candidacy as they have be found among elected representatives in at least 30 different departments or territories of France.

Mr Temaru says decolonisation doesn't mean for France to return the odd hectare of land previously used by the French military but to give back the 5.5 million square kilometres taken by force and ruse.

Although French Polynesia was returned to the UN decolonisation list three years ago, France has all but ignored the decision.


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