French Polynesia: freedom fighter oscar temaru elected president tahiti

Freedom fighter Oscar Temaru was elected president of French Polynesia today, Monday. He immediately declared the question of political independence for the territory would probably not be put "before ten, fifteen or twenty years". The pro-independence mayor of the commune of Faa' has, in Tahiti, obtained thirty out of 55 votes in the territory's legislative assembly. The 25 elected officials of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira group led by outgoing president Gaston Flosse abstained from voting at the time of the vote. Mr. Flosse challenged the validity of the election of the assembly. But he had failed to deposit his candidature within assembly deadlines. Having validated this election, the Council of State and the administrative court said the former president - who directed this territory since a score of years - could not again present himself as a candidate. Before the election itself, Mr Temaru, president of the pro-independence party Tavini Huiraatira, made a keynote speech in Tahitian, then in French, reassured the population on the future of their government. "We are quite conscious of the fact that the election which brought change to the majority was not a referendum for or against independence." The question of political independence will have to be put only when political, economic, social and financial conditions allow it", he says. "I think such a question could not be put before ten, fifteen or twenty years", he added. 150332 jun 04