25 May 2004

Ruling party in French Polynesia appear to have lost majority in elections

6:41 am on 25 May 2004

Early unofficial results in French Polynesia's general elections indicate the incumbent anti-independence party has suffered a major blow and lost its majority.

President Gaston Flosse's ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira party, which has ruled French Polynesia for the past twenty years, has only secured 28 of the 57 seats in the local legislative assembly.

A coaliton of opposition parties, the Democratic Union, has secured 27 seats.

Two other parties have won a seat each.

Close to eighty percent of the some 152,000 registered voters turned out to vote.

Earlier this month, provincial elections in New Caledonia, saw the downfall of another long term anti-independence leader, Jacques Lafleur.