21 Nov 2007

French Polynesian reform plan sees next step

2:07 pm on 21 November 2007

The law commission of the French national assembly has approved a government plan for French Polynesia which provides for an early general election next year under a new electoral system.

The law project has already been approved under urgency by the senate and is expected to be voted on by the assembly.

The reform provides for two rounds of voting, with the first to be held on January the 27th.

The changes are opposed by the main French Polynesian parties, with the one in power not excluding the possibility of an election boycott.

Although the objective is to create stability in Tahiti, no provision has been made to stop French Polynesian assembly members from party-hopping which was the key factor in the demise of recent governments.

The last general election was held in May 2004 but half a year later the French supreme court found that the poll was marred by irregularities and annulled the elections of 37 of the assembly's 57 members, prompting a by-election in January 2005.