18 Mar 2008

Opposition To Tatou Aia notches up wins in French Polynesia’s municipal election

11:36 am on 18 March 2008

The newly formed territorial opposition To Tatou Aia coalition in French Polynesia has won several key townhalls in the second round of the municipal election.

The jailed fraud suspect and incumbent in Mahina, Emile Vernaudon, has been returned as mayor although he secured less than 33 percent of the vote.

He campaigned from within the Tahiti prison where he has been since late last year as investigations continue into his alleged theft of public funds.

In Pirae, which has been the traditional stronghold of the ruling Tahoreaa Huiraatira Party, the vice-president Edouard Fritch has lost the mayoralty to the To Tatou Aia top member Beatrice Vernaudon.

The To Tatou Aia candidates in Punauiaa and in Arue, Rony Tumahai and Philip Schyle, also emerged as winners.