18 Jun 2012

UMP loses in New Caledonia, Tahoeraa sweeps Tahiti seats

6:14 am on 18 June 2012

In the second round of the election of a new French National Assembly, the UMP in New Caledonia has lost both its seats to a rival anti-independence party.

In French Polynesia, the local opposition won all three seats against candidates of the ruling pro-independence Union For Democracy.

In Wallis and Futuna, the UMP candidate won the seat by 42 votes.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The Caledonia Together Party has ended 26-year run of the UMP in holding the Paris seats, with Philippe Gomes and Sonia Lagarde securing victories a year after the party was squeezed out of New Caledonia's executive. The result suggests that it may emerge as the most significant force in the splintered anti-independence camp after denouncing the UMP's policy of accepting both the French and Kanak flags as the symbol of the territory's identity. In Tahiti, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse won all three Paris seats in its most stunning election victory in a decade. It fought off the challenge by the Oscar Temaru-led camp, and led by Edouard Fritch it returns to the Paris assembly four years after the UMP officially severed all ties with the Tahoeraa."