5 Apr 2004

French Polynesia's President confirmed to lead ruling party into next elections

7:06 am on 5 April 2004

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Flosse, has been given a new mandate to lead his party into elections next month.

The vote on 23rd May will be for an enhanced 57 member assembly with new constituencies and a new electoral system.

Mr Flosse said he wanted to go to the polls early because French Polynesia's new statute of autonomy had come into effect in February.

The new voting system has prompted opposition parties to contest the poll as a coalition.

A congress of the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party attended by 15 thousand delegates in Pirae yesterday approved a list of those standing including 25 new candidates.

The party has lost a sitting memeber who has joined the opposition