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French Polynesia gets new leader

14 September 07 09:05 GMT

A veteran pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru, has been elected president of French Polynesia for the third time in three years.

He replaces former President Gaston Tong Sang, who lost a no-confidence vote in parliament on 31 August. He supports autonomy but not independence.

The South Pacific territory became a French possession in 1880. It relies on tourism, fishing and French funding.

Mr Temaru, 63, wants a referendum on sovereignty in 20 years' time.

He was elected on Thursday with 27 of the 44 votes cast in the assembly in Tahiti.

A long-standing critic of France, Mr Temaru founded a pro-independence party in 1977.

French Polynesia is represented in the French parliament by two deputies and a senator.

France retains control of law enforcement, defence and finance in French Polynesia.

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