4 Jun 2012

Tahiti voters choose established parties in first round of French election

7:00 am on 4 June 2012

In the first round of the election of a new 577-member French assembly, voters in French Polynesia have chosen the candidates of the ruling party and the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira

A record 45 candidates stood for office in Tahiti, which for the first time will have three seats in the Paris assembly.

Unofficial results show the three candidates of the ruling pro-independence Union For Democracy are through to the second round, including the education minister, Tauhiti Nena.

The Tahoeraa came out in front in two electorates, with a top candidate being Edouard Fritch, who is a former vice-president and French assembly president as well as the son-in-law of Gaston Flosse.

Among the unsuccessful candidates are a former president, Gaston Tong Sang, and a former assembly president, Philip Schyle as well as several former government ministers.

The only incumbent to stand, Bruno Sandras, has also been eliminated.

Turnout was below 50 percent.

Mainland France and most of its overseas territories will go to teh polls this weekend.