5 Jun 2009

European election campaign to end for weekend polls

3:20 pm on 5 June 2009

Campaigning is about to end for the three overseas seats allotted to France in the election of the next European parliament this weekend.

Under a new formula, one representative will be from the French Pacific after the last election saw all three seats go to politicians from the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

Most candidates are affiliated to the main French parties.

In French Polynesia, voters will go to the polls a day earlier than in mainland France, taking into account the time difference.

Two women are standing in French Polynesia, including Nicole Bouteau who was an unsuccessful candidate five years ago.

Among the candidates are a former assembly president, Hiro Tefaarere, and the pro-independence camp's former minister, Keitapu Maamaatuaiahutapu.

The European parliament has 736 members, of whom 72 represent French voters.

Meanwhile, a complaint has been lodged in the French supreme court against French Polynesia's public broadcaster RFO for allegedly not according any air time to the spokesperson of the candidate, Tonina Temariiauma, as set out under broadcasting provisions.