28 May 2010

French Polynesia electoral reform up for discussion

5:42 am on 28 May 2010

A French delegation has begun a five-day mission to French Polynesia to canvass views for a proposed change of the electoral system.

The last change was pushed through in 2007 but the government formed after the early election in 2008 lasted only weeks into its five year-term.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"A special French envoy, Jacques Barthelemy, is tasked with meeting all political leaders to hear their ideas of how to shape the electoral system so that the political instability of recent years will end. He says he will report to the overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, for a new system to be proposed to the legislature by September. Mr Barthelemy had no comment on whether a new electoral system would be put to the test in an early general election as clamoured by Tahiti's politicians."

His talks have included a meeting with the president Gaston Tong Sang but not yet with the vice president, Edourad Fritch, as he spent a second day in police custody as part of a corruption probe.