25 Aug 2003

French Polynesia holds by-election in one municipality

4:44 pm on 25 August 2003

A first round of a by-election is being held in French Polynesia today to fill vacancies in the council of Mahina which is a municipality east of Papeete.

About a third of the seats need to be filled after two deaths and nine resignations.

Five parties are contesting the poll - among them a new one, No Oe e te Nunaa, which has been campaigning for the protection of the environment.

The strongest party in Mahina has been Ai'a Api ahead of the territory's ruling party, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira.

Ai'a Api's Emile Vernaudon has been Mahina's mayor sincve 1977.