5 Apr 2006

France open to Tahiti electoral system review

8:16 pm on 5 April 2006

The French overseas territories minister, Francois Baroin, says a change to the electoral system in French Polynesia could be considered if it won't lead to an early election.

The system was changed for the 2004 election but it failed to deliver political stability and gave the territory rival governments within four months.

A by-election last year brought about another change of government under an electoral system that gives the party winning most seats in an electorate a bonus of a third of all seats.

There have been calls for change and Mr Baroin says it could be altered.

"if there is unanimity among all political forces in Polynesia to return to the earlier system and putting guarantees into a possible law that there would be no dissolution before the the next planned election - that is in 2009. Then I'd be prepared to take advantage of the last text on the overseas territories before the end of the legislature to have in included - if there is no consensus on this question we won't open the debate on the electoral system or the statute."