Voting has ended in French Polynesia's first round of an early general
election to choose a new 57-member assembly for a five-year term.
Preliminary results show that no party is on track to win an absolute
majority which means that a run-off round of voting will be held on
February the 10th.
The ruling Union For Democracy, which was the biggest party in the
previous assembly, is being challenged by the To Tatou Aia of Gaston Tong Sang who was president for nine months last year.
Preliminary results show in the capital Papeete his party has won more
votes than the Tahoeraa Huiraatira which in turn has taken a lead in the Rapa archipelago in the south.
In one island in the Marquesas group in the north, a list led by Benoit Kaitau has won an absolute majority.
The election was called by Paris in a bid to increase political
stability in French Polynesia.
After the last general election in 2004, the Tahoeraa accused the Union For Democracy of cheating.
Six months later, the French supreme court annulled most results, but in the following by-election the Union For Democracy made small gains.