French Polynesia profile

Head of state: The president of France, represented by a high commissioner

French Polynesia's President Gaston Flosse Gaston Flosse is a veteran of politics

President: Gaston Flosse

Gaston Flosse was elected president for a fifth time in 29 years in May 2013.

He was elected to the post by the territory's assembly after his Tahoeraa Huiraatira party won parliamentary elections.

Mr Flosse - who favours autonomy for the islands - replaced Oscar Temaru, an advocate of independence from France.

Within days of his election, he said he wanted to hold a referendum on self-determination after the UN General Assembly put French Polynesia on the global body's decolonization list along with 16 other territories around the world, including the British-ruled Falkland islands and the US Virgin Islands.

The UN resolution "affirms the right of the people of French Polynesia to self-determination and independence." It calls on the French government to "facilitate rapid progress" towards self-determination. The the move is largely symbolic.

Mr Flosse denounced the UN decision as dictatorial and vowed that he won't ever let the UN flag fly on his palace.

French Polynesia has a 57-member assembly which is elected every five years. The president is elected from the assembly. France retains responsibility for foreign affairs, defence, justice and security.

The territory is represented in the French parliament by two deputies and a senator. It is represented at the European Parliament.

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