21 Sep 2007

French Polynesian assembly to discuss French reform plan

1:29 pm on 21 September 2007

The French government has given French Polynesia's assembly the draft of the reform planned for the territory amid resistance by the two main political parties to opt for early general elections.

The last election was held in 2004 but because of election irregularities the French supreme court annulled 37 of the 57 seats, forcing a by-election in 2005.

The assembly has now two weeks to give its view but it won't be binding on the French authorities which are set to change the electoral system in Tahiti for the third time in three years in a bid to increase political stability.

The plan provides for a shortening of the current assembly's five-year term by nearly two years but the minister in charge of overseas territories says he is not sure if there won't be a challenge in the supreme court in Paris.

The court meanwhile is yet to rule whether last week's presidential election of Oscar Temaru stands.