Tahiti's Tapura party to contest Faa'a mayoralty with 2 candidates

2:31 pm on 9 January 2020

French Polynesia's ruling Tapura Huiraatira party will contest the mayoralty of the largest town with two candidates, suggesting a further split in its ranks.

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Photo: 123RF

The town of Faa'a has been a stronghold of the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira party, whose leader Oscar Temaru has been the mayor for 37 years.

Mr Temaru is yet to declare his candidacy for the March election.

A Tapura assembly member, Teura Tarahu, announced her bid for mayor this week just days after her party colleague and senior government minister Jean-Christophe Bouissou registered his candidacy.

Ms Tarahu already ran five years ago when she won just under eight percent of the vote, while Mr Temaru secured just under 66 percent.

In another key Tahiti town, Mahina, the Tapura also has two candidates seeking the mayoralty.

One bid is being mounted by one of the party's member of both the French and the French Polynesian assemblies, Nicole Sanquer.

Last year, however, she decided to sit as an independent in the assembly in Tahiti while remaining a party member.

Although the party said she couldn't be both in and out of it, the leadership didn't expel her.

The Tapura is made up of members of the erstwhile dominant Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party of Gaston Flosse, who were either expelled or quit amid deepening rifts opened five years ago.

Gaston Flosse wants to run in Papeete but his voter registration has been rejected - a decision which is being appealed.

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