11 Apr 2011

French Polynesia's anti-independence politicians hope they can back electoral reforms

11:34 am on 11 April 2011

French Polynesia's anti-independence politicians say they hope to produce a positive response to the latest French proposal to change the territory's electoral system ahead of the 2013 elections.

A special assembly sitting will this week discuss the changes - the fourth proposed by Paris since 2004 in a bid to foster political stability.

The pro-autonomy side objects however to the new electoral boundaries, saying the Society islands are being given too much prominence.

Last month, the ruling pro-independence Union For Democracy said the new boundaries were devised to eliminate it from the political scene.

Consultations and a vote by the French legislature on the reforms should be completed before the end of the year.

The last change was adopted by Paris despite 44 out of French Polynesia's assembly's 57 members voting against it.

After the subsequent early general election in 2008, the government lasted only a few weeks.

The last change of government took place at the beginning of this month.