2 Aug 2007

France plans second change to French Polynesia's electoral system this year

2:09 pm on 2 August 2007

The French government says it wants to reform the electoral system in French Polynesia and shorten the term of the current assembly in the face of the territory's political instability.

The proposal was announced by the secretary of state for overseas territories, Christian Estrosi, as the two main French Polynesian party leaders, Gaston Flosse and Oscar Temaru, seek fresh elections to dislodge the government led by Gaston Tong Sang.

The two politicians have been working on an accord that would lead to a vote on self-determination by 2028 although France has so far refused Mr Temaru's bid to put French Polynesia on the UN list of territories to be decolonised.

Mr Estrosi says before the end of the month, the French government will submit a proposed new electoral system which would provide for two rounds of voting to choose the assembly.

France has changed the electoral system twice since 2004 - the last time six months ago.

The new system may be adopted next month and could lead to fresh elections before the end of the year.