2 Sep 2007

French Polynesia to have fresh election under new electoral system

9:07 pm on 2 September 2007

The French government is set to arrange an early general election in French Polynesia this year under a new electoral system in a bid to increase political stability.

This was announced in Papeete by the French secretary of state in charge of overseas territories, Christian Estrosi, only hours after the eight-month old French Polynesian government of Gaston Tong Sang was ousted in a confidence vote as some members of his Tahoeraa Huiraatira party voted with the opposition.

Mr Estrosi says he hopes the French legislature will pass the amendments within a month to shorten the current five-year term of the French Polynesian assembly by nearly two years for a fresh general election to be held before the end of the year.

Mr Estrosi plans to introduce French Polynesia's third electoral system in three years although no election has been held under the system adopted under urgency earlier this year.

When Mr Tong Sang was ousted two days ago, nominations were called for the election of a new president on September the 10th.

Four governments have been voted out in the past three years with motions of no confidence, which succeeded because of changing allegiances of some assembly members.

The last general election was held in May 2004 but five months later the territory was in political disarray with three men claiming to be president and the French supreme court then declaring that the election of 37 of the 57 members was invalid because of voting irregularities.