9 Nov 2004

Independent judge recommends new elections for parts of French Polynesia

3:55 pm on 9 November 2004

An independent judge in Paris is recommending that new elections should be held in parts of French Polynesia after finding serious irregularities.

The administrative judge has recommended to the Conseil d'Etat, or the state court, that the results of the voting in Tahiti and Moorea should be annuled.

The judge found that polling booths in May, which are required by law to be neutral, were decorated with the colours of the independence movement.

A professor of law at the University of French Polynesia, Yves Louis Sage, says the Conseil d'Etat is known to follow the recommendations of the administrative judge.

"It will impact on the results which took place in Tahiti and Moorea only and according to very well established line of case laws from the council of state, this should lead them to consider that the voting should be held invalid."

Professor Sage says a decision from the court is expected within the next couple of days.

The party which wins Tahiti and Moorea is awarded 37 out of the 57 seat assembly.

The French newsagency, AFP, is reporting that the judge also recommended that other requests to annul the elections in the Marquesas, Leeward Islands, West Tuamotu and Austral islands be rejected.