Polynesian government to stop decolonisation bid after landslide autonomist victory in election

Gaston Flosse wins absolute majority, promises to seek withdrawal of resolution that asks the UN to register Polynesia as a non-self-governing territory · Pro-independence UPLD suffers heavy loses amid of economic crisis

New president of French Polynesia Gaston Flosse (left picture, image by Jérôme Gallecier), has asked permission to French president François Hollande to officially address UN General Assembly in order to stop the decolonisation bid that was lodged by former Polynesian president Oscar Temaru. This is likely to be the first decision to be adopted by the renewed Polynesian Assembly, where party balance has deeply changed after Sunday's election.

Temaru's pro-independence Union for Democracy (UPLD, French acronym) has lost power, retaining only 11 seats out of a total 57 in the Polynesian Assembly. Flosse's autonomist Tahoera'a Huiraatira is the big winner of the election: his party has secured 38 seats, and thus has reached an absolute majority. The third party with representatives in the Assembly is autonomist Ti'a Porinetia, with 8 seats.

This will be Flosse's fifth term as Polynesian president. Local newspapers and analysts agree that Temaru has payed a very high price for the deep crisis that is harming the Polynesian economy, with high unemployment rates.

Not rejoining the non-self-governing list

Being opposed to independence, Flosse will ask the UN General Assembly not to take into consideration the decolonisation bid that was lodged by Temaru last year. Temaru wanted the Assembly to register Polynesia on the UN list of non-self-governing territories. Thereby, he thinks, it will be easier to call a referendum on Polynesian independence from the French Republic.

But Polynesian member of the French Senate, pro-independence Richard Tuiheava, has said that the bid is already on the UN agenda and that it cannot be withdrawn. Tuiheava considers that the debate on the bid could start next week and he argues that Polynesians have the support of regional powers Australia and New Zealand.