20 Apr 2012

Campaigning must stop in French Pacific at midnight

1:44 pm on 20 April 2012

All political campaigning has to cease in the French Pacific tonight at midnight ahead of the first round of voting in the French presidential election.

By law there has to be one day without campaign-related messages before voters go to the polls.

The main contenders have delivered messages tailored to the various communities, with Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande tipped as frontrunners to make the second round in two weeks.

Both politicians have stressed their desire to maintain a partnership with the overseas territories.

They oppose decolonisation bids in French Polynesia while profess their support for the decolonisation process underway in New Caledonia.

Mr Hollande has been leading the opinion polls published in France.

In 2007 Mr Sarkozy was elected president, with New Caledonia giving him the biggest support of any French electorate..