14 Apr 2018

Wallis and Futuna head to polls

10:56 am on 14 April 2018

Wallis and Futuna will go to the polls on Sunday after the election of the territory's only French National Assembly member was annulled two months ago.

Napole Polutele retained his seat in June, but the constitutional court in Paris found that 21 proxy votes were irregular, depriving him of his slim majority.

Last year, Mr Polutele was one of the few candidates running for a seat in Paris who secured more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round of voting.

His victory was challenged by Sylvain Brial who came second and who said there were mistakes in allotting proxy votes and also alleged treating.

If no candidate wins an absolute majority tomorrow a runoff election will be held a week later.

The French National Assembly election in Wallis and Futuna in 2012 was also annulled because the winner David Verge produced flawed campaign accounts, triggering a fresh election which was won by Mr Polutele.

Mr Verge was subsequently banned from holding public office for one year, but was last elected as the new president of the territory's assembly.