16 Dec 2004

French Polynesian by-election set for February 13th

9:39 am on 16 December 2004

The French government has confirmed February 13th as the date for the by-election in French Polynesia's biggest electorate.

At stake are 37 of the assembly's 57 seats which have been vacant since last month when the French supreme court annulled the result of the May general election after a complaint by President Gaston Flosse who said the outcome was influenced by serious irregularities in Mahina.

He narrowly lost but was returned to power in October after a no-confidence vote.

Candidate lists for the by-election have to be presented by January the 6th and official campaigning will start the following day.

Under the bonus system introduced this year, the list with most votes will win an extra 30 percent of the seats.

In the May election, Oscar Temaru's list won by a few hundred votes which translated into a landslide victory in the Tahiti/Moorea electorate.

Mr Flosse's list won the other five electorates.