French Polynesian referendum, 1940

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An unofficial referendum on whether to support the Free French or the Vichy regime was held in the French Polynesian islands of Moorea and Tahiti on 24 August 1940.[1] The referendum was held following a call from Charles De Gaulle to oppose the Vichy government on 18 June, and was organised by the underground Free France Committee.[1]

Over 99% of voters supported backing the Free French Forces, with just 18 people voting in favour of the Vichy regime. Following the referendum, the pro-Vichy governor Frédéric Marie Jean Baptiste Chastenet de Géry was forced to resign on 2 September.[1] On the same day the Free France Committee formed the Provisional Council of Oceania to rule the island group, which was recognised by De Gaulle by a telegram sent from London.[2] Peter Fraser, the Prime Minister of New Zealand also sent a telegram noting great satisfaction at the result.[3] The new administration on the islands lifted the ban on British shipping, allowing imports of food.[4]

Results[edit]

Choice Votes %
Free French Forces 5,564 99.68
Vichy France 18 0.32
Total 5,582 100
Source: Direct Democracy

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Tahiti, 24. August 1940 : Unterstützung von Vichy / Freies Frankreich Direct Democracy
  2. ^ French Polynesia The World at War
  3. ^ "Oceania Votes For De Gaulle", The Times, 4 September 1940, p4, issue 48712
  4. ^ "Various" The Times, 14 September 1940, p3, issue 48721