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.