14 Dec 2004

French Polynesia by-election expected on 13 February

2:32 pm on 14 December 2004

The French government says it is probable that the by-election in French Polynesia's biggest electorate will be held on February the 13th.

Last month, the French supreme court annulled the result in the Windward islands electorate which meant that 37 of the assembly's 57 seats were declared vacant.

The court acted on a complaint by President Gaston Flosse who claimed that the presence of blue colour in the election office swayed enough voters to influence the election outcome.

His loss on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea resulted in the coalition led by Oscar Temaru winning the presidency.

The French overseas ministry is expected to make an official election date announcement before the end of the month.

Mr Temaru has called for international observers.

The French minister in charge of overseas territories expressed surprise at the request, saying it was Mr Temaru's side that was sanctioned by the supreme court.