25 May 2009

Campaigning starts in Pacific for EU parliamentary elections

1:39 pm on 25 May 2009

Campaigning is underway for the three overseas seats allotted to France in the election of the next European parliament at the end of next week.

Under a new formula, one representative will be from the French Pacific after the last election saw all three seats go to politicians from the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

In French Polynesia, there are five candidates, including Nicole Bouteau who also stood five years ago as the leader of the centrist No Oe E Te Nunaa party.

Among the candidates are a former assembly president, Hiro Tefaarere, and the pro-independence camp's Keitapu Maamaatuaiahutapu.

The European parliament has 736 members, of whom 72 represent French voters.