20 Apr 2013

Election campaigning nears end in French Polynesia

8:48 am on 20 April 2013

Campaigning is near its end in French Polynesia as voters will go to the polls in two days to elect a new 57-member assembly.

They will choose among nine lists of candidates, which will need to get 12.5 percent of the votes to make it to the second round on May the 5th.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Years of eceonomic decline appear to have strengthened the appeal of the former strongman Gaston Flosse whose Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has promised to rebuild the territory. Its rallies have attracted far larger crowds than the ruling pro-independence Union For Democracy of Oscar Temaru, whose campaign echoes that of other parties keen to stop Mr Flosse's return. While appealing against two long jail sentences for corruption, he is aware that a ruling in France's highest court is expected this year which could spell the sudden end of his political career at the age of 82. Results are expected quickly and parties qualifying for the next round will have just two days to form new alliances for the all important run-off two weeks later.."