18 Jan 2005

Ousted French Polynesian coalition optimistic of by-election chances

7:54 pm on 18 January 2005

French Polynesia's ousted coalition led by Oscar Temaru says it is optimistic that it will return and have a majority 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 rival Tahoeraa about election irregularities which it claimed led to its defeat in last year's general election.

A member of Mr Temaru's party, Sabrina Birk, says the seven-party coalition is attracting large support at campaign meetings.

"We hope to gain five more seats, that will bring us to 29, that will give us a majority. Now, this is a modest way of saying things but when you look at the meetings you can allow yourself to dream that we may get 35 seats out of 37."

Sabrina Birk