15 Jun 2012

Sandras backs rival camp in French Polynesia poll

10:55 am on 15 June 2012

A French Polynesian member of the French National Assembly who has failed to get to the second round of the election has called on voters to back a candidate of a rival camp.

Bruno Sandras, who sat with the UMP in the Paris assembly for the past five years, says in this weekend's run-off vote people should choose Philippe Neuffer, who has the backing of the French Socialists.

Mr Sandras won only nine percent of the votes in the first round and failed to qualify for the run-off that will be held between the pro-independence Union For Democracy's Philippe Neuffer and Jonas Tuhaitu of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.

When elected five years ago, Mr Sandras was a Tahoeraa politician but he fell out with the party and formed his own movement.

Another former Tahoeraa politician and unsuccessful candidate in the first round, Gaston Tong Sang, has advised his supporters not to vote for any of the candidates.

This weekend's run-off for the territory's three seats will be between the opposition Tahoeraa and the Union For Democracy, with observers tipping a Tahoeraa success.