French Polynesia's main rival camps have held mass
rallies ahead of next week's by-election for 37 of the
territorial assembly's 57 seats.
An estimated 20'000 people marched in support of the
Oscar Temaru-led Union for Democracy coalition,
calling for political change and an end to corruption.
Among the marchers into the centre of Papeete were
French Socialist MPs and a Green senator who
criticised the French government's handling of the
territory's political crisis.
A rival rally was held by backers of the ruling
Tahoeraa Huiraatira who organised a drive of 2,000
cars around the island of Tahiti.
The event's organiser, Emile Vernier, says their
demonstration was against racism, hate and
independence from France.
Meanwhile, the leader of the French centrist UDF
party, Francois Bayrou, is in Tahiti to support the
alliance formed by Nicole Bouteau and Philip Schyle.
He says he is concerned about the situation in the
territory where he says voters have to make a historic
Mr Bayrou says the alliance offers a way out of the
dangerous climate with its predictable confrontations.
The alliance says after the election it won't side
either of the major blocs.
The latest opinion poll by a Papeete paper lists the
Tahoeraa as the leading party and Ms Bouteau as the