18 Jan 2005

French Polynesian government confident it will retain power

7:56 pm on 18 January 2005

French Polynesia's ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party says it is optimistic that it will retain power after next month's by-election.

Campaigning is under way for the 37 seats which are vacant after the French supreme court annulled the result in the Tahiti and Moorea electorate.

The ruling came after a complaint by the Tahoeraa about election irregularities which it claimed led to its defeat in last year's general election.

The spokesman for the Gaston Flosse-led government, Jean-Christophe Buissou, says this time his party may win.

"Probably we are going to win this election. What we hear from Mr Temaru is quite different, it looks like he's pretty much confident of winning this election but we'll see on the 13th of February."

Jean-Christophe Buissou of French Polynesia's ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.