Whatever the result of the second round of territorial elections, Sunday April 30, 2023, it is a page that turns in French Polynesia. The territory has been politically marked by the confrontation since 1977 between two “fathers of the people”, “metua” in Tahitian. Willingly or by force, one and the other fade away.
On the one hand, Gaston Flosse, 91, head of “Tahoeraa”, which became “Amuitahiraa”, former Secretary of State for the South Pacific in the government of his friend Jacques Chirac between 1986 and 1988. An ephemeral ministerial title invented for him . On the other Oscar Temaru, 78, founder of the Polynesian Liberation Front then of the “Tavini”.
Handover to separatists
If Oscar Temaru is still leader of the “Tavini”, he has already indicated that in the event of a victory for the separatists he would leave the presidency of the government of French Polynesia to his heir apparent and son-in-law Moetai Brotherson. In the first round, on April 16, the party identified by the color blue came out on top with 34.9% of the votes cast.
The separatists have already presided over the destinies of French Polynesia, but without ever obtaining an absolute majority of seats in the Assembly, thanks to the alliance with small separatist parties during the period of instability between 2004 and 2013. left, they nevertheless have the wind in their sails: election of one deputy (Moetai Brotherson) in 2017 then three in 2022 (Moetai Brotherson, Tematai Le Gayic, Steve Chailloux).
In its profession of faith, the party presents itself as “independence, peaceful, democratic and in love with its country and its people”. The document also recalls that French Polynesia was re-inscribed in 2013 in the UN inventory of “non-self-governing territories”, after a first registration in 1946-1947. This is also the case, since 1986, of New Caledonia.
Faced with the separatists, the autonomists have been divided since the question of the succession of Gaston Flosse arose. Caught up by several cases of fictitious jobs or embezzlement of public funds, the latter is still electorally ineligible. Positioned in the center or on the right or even on the far right, two competing lists have qualified.
That of the “Tapura” is a component of the presidential majority of Emmanuel Macron led by outgoing President Édouard Fritch. “The ties that we have managed to preserve with the protective and benevolent nation that is France are, I am convinced, an essential asset to become an example of success on the regional, national and international levels”, writes the party red in his profession of faith.
Arrived in second position with 30.5%, the “Tapura” merged in the second round with the friends of Gaston Flosse. After years of ideological oscillations, the “old lion” therefore reunites with his former son-in-law, to whom he brings 11.9% of his orange list, just below the qualification threshold of 12.5% of the votes cast. . During one of the two debates between the two rounds on Polynesia the 1st, the one in Tahitian, the new red-orange alliance had sent Gaston Flosse, yet not a candidate because of his ineligibility. Consequence: the representatives of the other two lists left the set live.
The other autonomist force qualified in the second round, “A here ia Porinetia” (“Love Polynesia”) is led by Nuihau Laurey, former senator from 2015 to 2022. These Tapura dissidents, who obtained 14.5% on 16 April, moved closer to the extreme right: like the president of the party, Nicole Sanquer, Nuihau Laurey had sponsored Marine Le Pen in the last presidential election.
In addition to the issue of autonomy or independence, the campaign was marked by the problem of the fight against the high cost of living in this territory of 279,500 inhabitants spread over five archipelagos.