23 Apr 2013

Tahoeraa dominates first round of French Polynesia election

4:15 am on 23 April 2013

The Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party of Gaston Flosse has emerged as the clear winner of the first round of French Polynesia's territorial election.

According to preliminary results, it secured more than 40 percent of vote, defeating the ruling Union of Democracy of Oscar Temaru, which won 24 percent.

The only other party to clear the 12.5 percent threshold of votes to make it to the run-off in two weeks is the A Tia Porinetia of Teva Rohfritsch, which won just under 20 percent.

The Maohi Tatou Party was fourth with slightly more than five percent of the vote, which allows it to join into an alliance with another list contesting the second round.

Mr Rohfritsch, who campaigned for a renewal of politics after the long-standing rivalry between Mr Flosse and Mr Temaru, is yet to comment on the election outcome.

The winning list in the run-off will get a third of the assembly's 57 seats as a bonus, with the rest divided according to parties' relative strength.

Mr Flosse, who at the age of 81 is poised to resume the presidency, was given two jail sentences for corruption this year but is free pending his appeals.