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The canting of democracy in French Polynesia

21 October 2004

Mâori Party co-leader Tariana Turia ‘The canting of democracy in French Polynesia’.

The Mâori Party supports the peaceful demonstration taking place in Tahiti.

“Our people saw the hikoi of some 15,000 Tahitians, about a tenth of their population, as an outstanding reaction to the ousting of Oscar Temaru” said Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Mâori Party.

“We have great concern for the democratic and indigenous rights of our Pacific whanaunga” Mrs Turia said today in response to the ousting of Oscar Temaru by a censure vote nine days ago in a court in Papeete, Tahiti.

In May, Mr Temaru became the first pro-independence leader to be elected in French Polynesia.

“On 23 May the people spoke, in electing Mr Temaru to office” said Mrs Turia.

“Tahitians have had a long fight for self-determination, and indigenous peoples across the world celebrated the movement of the Tahitians to reclaim Tahiti and live according to their constitution”.

In June, Mr Temaru’s government started two investigations: the economic audit of the previous management under the five year Gaston Flosse government; the health consequences on the former 3,800 workers and their families of the thirty years of nuclear testing on the Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls.

“We understand that questions have been raised about the role of the French Government in the current situation, and in particular their active support for the former conservative president, Gaston Flosse - a close ally of French President Jacques Chirac”.

ENDS

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