24 May 2004

Gaston Flosse's party takes all seats so far in early French Polynesia poll results

9:27 pm on 24 May 2004

First results from French Polynesia's elections show that the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party is set to maintain its grip on power, winning all seats declared so far.

According to unofficial results, it has won six seats in the Tuamotu Gambier Islands.

The Tahoeraa, which is led by veteran politician and territorial president, Gaston Flosse has also won three seats in the Marquesas Islands and two in the Austral group.

Initial reports say there has been a higher turnout than in the last election.

The Tahoeraa Huiraatira party is widely expected to increase its majority in the enlarged 57 member Parliament following a change in the electoral system that gives the party wimmg the most votes an additional third of the seats.

The election was called last month after the French President Jacques Chirac dissolved the Assembly on a request from Mr Flosse.