1 Feb 2010

French overseas territories minister Penchard due in Tahiti

4:55 pm on 1 February 2010

The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, is due in Tahiti later today for a four-day official visit to French Polynesia - her first since being given the portfolio.

Mrs Penchard is expected to sign a new deal to confirm further French development assistance and explore options for electoral reforms in the territory after President Nicolas Sarkozy called for change this year to end what he has likened to a vast comedy.

The territory has its fourth president since the 2008 early election.

Her itinerary includes a visit to Rurutu, Bora Bora and Raiatea, whose Taputapuatea marae is in line for recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.