The leader of French Polynesia's Porinetia Ora party has urged his backers to support the Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse in next week's run-off election for a new territorial assembly.
Teiva Manutahi's call comes after a campaign targetting the Tahoeraa leader and seeking a renewal of the political class.
His party failed to make it to the run-off but was eligible to enter into a coalition with any of the lists through to the second round.
The public endorsement of the Tahoeraa also follows his claim last week that the first round was marred by illegal ballot papers benefitting the Tahoeraa.
Mr Manutahi says he has taken his new stance in view of the serious social situation, rejecting suggestions he will be rewarded by the Tahoeraa for his change of mind.
The Tahoeraa dominated the first round of voting and is poised to win an overwhelming majority as a third of all seats will be given as a bonus to the party list coming first.