France's ruling party to contest Tahiti's 2018 election

5:51 am on 9 December 2017

France's ruling En Marche party has announced that it will contest French Polynesia's territorial election next year.

The party's chapter in Tahiti, which is yet to name its candidates, issued a statement to decry the territory's poverty as it has now engulfed 55 percent of the population.

In a message to what it calls the 700 most influential personalities of the presidential majority, En Marche also highlights the inequalities.

En Marche said there are no redistribution measures while the cost of living is much higher than in France.

It notes that there is no unemployment benefit or the basic support of the RSA scheme.

The party said there are serious educational shortcomings, people are in debt and unemployment is above 30 percent.

And it adds that health statistics show 70 percent of men and half of the women are overweight, with life expectancy now eight years lower than in France.

En Marche has been critical of the government in Tahiti, denouncing in August its deferral of debate about a reform of the social security system.

It also derided the president of the territorial assembly Marcel Tuihani last month for seeking talks with En Marche top leaders as he is about to form his own party.

The En Marche Party of Emmanuel Macron has no formal ally among French Polynesia's politicians who have traditionally been allied to established French parties.

In the last election in 2013, the anti-independence Tahoeraa Huiraatira won two thirds of all seats, but since then the party has split, with most key members forming the Tapura Huiraatira Party.

In the French presidential election, the Tahoeraa supported Marine Le Pen of the National Front.

Emmanuel Macron, former Minister of Finance, gives a speech in Lyon in front of 16,000 for the french Presidential Elections, 4th February 2017. Emmanuel Macron is the leader of political movement "En Marche".

Emmanuel Macron gives a speech in Lyon in front of 16,000 for the french Presidential Elections. Photo: AFP