17 Mar 2011

France outlines French Polynesia electoral reform plans

1:06 pm on 17 March 2011

France has released a draft of the proposed electoral reforms for French Polyensia which Paris wants to pass before the end of this year in a bid to increase the territory's political stability.

It is the fourth change to be made by Paris since 2004, with the new system expected to be used in 2013.

The minister for overseas territories, Marie-Luce Penchard, has proposed that the threshhold for a no confidence motion to succeed be raised to 60 percent of assembly members voting for it.

After the last election in 2008, a simple majority was enough to oust the government which was only weeks into its five-year term.

The plan also calls for more seats to be given to the more populous Society islands and bonus seats in all five electorates for the winning list.

It also plans to limit consecutive presidential terms to two and curbing the executive to no more than seven ministers, with each of them allowed to hire no more than 15 staff.

The size of the assembly is to remain unchanged at 57.

The assembly in Tahiti has been given a month to discuss the plan.

The last change was adopted three years ago despite more than three quarters of the assembly members voting against it.