Temaru: If He Receives The Most French Polynesia Votes In Presidential Election He'll Declare Independence

Pro-independence leader campaigning hard for enough support to contest for French Presidency

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 14, 2017) – French Polynesia's pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru has restated that if he wins most votes in Tahiti in the April French presidential election he will make a unilateral declaration of independence.

Mr Temaru repeated his stance on television in France where he is campaigning to get enough support to lodge his candidacy by the March 17 deadline.

To stand he needs to find elected politicians in at least 30 departments or territories.

He has also sharply rebuked France for shifting its nuclear weapons tests from Algeria to French Polynesia in the 1960s, saying to impose them on a defenceless people instead of somewhere in France was an act of nuclear racism.

Mr Temaru said for the French, General Charles de Gaulle was an icon but for his territory he was a criminal.

He also reiterated France's international obligation to accompany its colonies to full sovereignty, pointing to his bid for international support and the UN decolonisation process.

France pulled the so-called French Establishments in Oceania off the UN decolonisation list in 1947 - 67 years after it annexed the erstwhile Kingdom of Tahiti.

However, in 2013 the UN General Assembly returned French Polynesia to the list.

The move angered Paris which labelled it as glaring interference by the UN and it has shunned co-operation with the UN on the matter.

Radio New Zealand International
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