24 Sep 2007

Concern over French proposal to change French Polynesia's political system

6:50 am on 24 September 2007

The president of the French Polynesian assembly, Edouard Fritch, says the French proposal to reform the territory's political system has all the elements to perpetuate the instability.

This comes as the French government has decided to overhaul the electoral system by introducing two rounds of voting in polls likely to be called early next year.

The French assembly in Paris is scheduled to pass all the amendments under urgency by early November, irrespective of the views held by the assembly in Tahiti.

The amendments would shorten the current assembly's term by more than a year.

Mr Fritch says he is disappointed with the reform plan and says the territory's autonomy is at risk.

The two main parties in Tahiti don't want early general elections before next year's municipal elections.

The French reforms are in response to frequent changes of government in French Polynesia but won't include a ban on party hopping which has been the downfall of four governments in three years.