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French Polynesia

Is French Polynesia closer to independence?

A call for a referendum for independence in French Polynesia right now could mean more in favour of breaking away from France, if the recent results of those voted into the French Assembly is to go by.

According to the nation’s pro-independence groups, people want to cut ties with France. French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch is already panicking, with calls for him to resign.

The three candidates of the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira party who have made it to the French National Assembly are believed to be the opposition.

The Tapura Huiraatira party which in the Tahitian assembly holds two-thirds of all seats, lost out on all seats.

Media reports have quoted Mr Fritch as saying the result has been catastrophic. He reportedly stated that the focus and subjects that should be presented before the French Assembly should be economic affairs as the nation attempts to recover from the COVID pandemic.

Tahiti’s three men who will be present in the French Assembly. Picture: Steve Chailloux Facebook

Mr Fritch believes that the opposition will not work with him and present to the French Assembly cases for sovereignty and independence.

He added that the three candidates were all opposed to French President Emmanuel Macron.

The results in French Polynesia suggest that there is a call among Tahitians to become a sovereign state and for the indigenous of the land to have an identity.

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In New Caledonia, the referendum for independence seems to have been beaten. Despite the protests by the pro-independence parties that the results of the referendum there were flawed, France recognised the results.

However, things could be different for the people of Tahiti. French Polynesian pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru has stated after the results that the Tahitian president should consider stepping down.

According to the nation’s pro-independence groups, people want to cut ties with France. French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch is already panicking, with calls for him to resign. Picture: Blue Climate

He said the results represented the mood of the people, and this had shown that the Maohi people want to be recognised for who they are.

French Polynesia became autonomous in 1984. In March 2003, France changed the classification of French Polynesia from overseas territory to overseas collectivity.

In 2004 an organic act increased French Polynesia’s powers of self-government.

Mr Temaru was elected president that year and served briefly before losing to his predecessor, Gaston Flosse, who at that time was opposed to independence.

Over the next decade, the presidency rotated among several politicians—including Temaru, Flosse, and Gaston Tong Sang, who served multiple times each—representing different visions of French Polynesia’s future in relation to France.

But nothing is as clear as the recent results shown in the polls.

 

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