5 Jan 2011

Paris delays French Polynesia electoral reform

5:44 pm on 5 January 2011

The French government has delayed by a month the presentation to parliament of its planned electoral reforms for French Polynesia.

Following consultations with Tahiti's leaders in Paris last September, the minister in charge of overseas territories, Marie-Luce Penchard, suggested that the Society islands form a single electorate with its own voting system which will be different from that of the other four archipelagoes.

She said taking into account recent population shifts, the Society Islands should get 42 seats while each of the other four constituencies would get two each, thereby reducing the size of assembly from 57 to 50 members.

The delay in tabling the reform plan is due to objections by two law commission members who question the need for two separate voting systems within one territory.

The latest electoral reform is the third since 2007 and is aimed to increase the territory's political stability.