29 Apr 2010

Date set in fresh French Polynesia electoral reform

3:04 pm on 29 April 2010

The French overseas territories ministry says a mission will be sent to French Polynesia on May the 26th to discuss reforming the electoral system in view of the political instability.

The ministry says the delegation led by Jacques Barthelemy will present proposal to relevant parties in Tahiti before the changes are submitted to the French legislature.

This comes amid unsuccessful calls in Papeete for an immediate dissolution of the assembly which has been the scene of unstable coalitions, with the ruling group this month failing to elect its candidate to the post of assembly president.

The last change to the system was made in 2007 after the then minister in charge of overseas territories, Christian Estrosi, said it was not conceivable to have a situation in a French territory where a government cannot last a full term.

However, after the early election in 2008 the new government lasted only one-month into its five-year term.

Mr Estrosi had instigated Paris to change the electoral system under urgency only months after Paris had changed the system under urgency as well and without there being an election in the intervening time.