15 Mar 2006

Early French Polynesia municipal election fails to curb unease

7:48 pm on 15 March 2006

A political leader in French Polynesia has expressed his concerns at the outcome of the early municipal election in Tumaraa on the island of Raiatea.

Serious differences in Tumaraa prompted fresh elections which have given the incumbent mayor, Cyril Tetuanui, only 11 of the council's 23 seats.

The centrist Fetia Api Party leader, Philip Schyle, has told the news agency Tahitipresse that deep divisions within the electorate make it necessary to move away from having associated communities.

He says they are so different in their political affiliations that they could blackmail each other.

The election of a new mayor will be held at the end of this week.

Meanwhile, there has been a claim by the territorial opposition that the winning team has been flown to Papeete against its will - a claim denied by the territory's presidency.