20 Nov 2004

Academic doubts French Polynesia election system

9:05 am on 20 November 2004

A French Polynesia academic says it may always be difficult for the territory to hold elections that can stand up to scrutiny in court in France.

France's highest court has struck out the last election result for a large part of the territory citing irregularities in the use of party colours.

But Dr Bruno Saura, a senior lecturer in Polynesian civilisation at the University of French Polynesia, says party colours have traditionally played a major role in elections in the territory.

And he says while things are changing slowly, it may always be difficult for the territory to conform to French, and western, standards.

"I'm not very optimistic because I think there will always be a place for people or somebody who will play it Polynesian. I mean, who will be himself and who will express publicly his vote. And it will always be a bone of contention. There will always be the possibility of complaint before the court, and things like that."