French High Commission validates lists contesting French Polynesia elections

9:17 am on 26 March 2023
The French High Commission in Papeete, French Polynesia

The French High Commission in Papeete, French Polynesia Photo: RNZI

The French High Commission has validated the seven lists contesting next month's territorial elections in French Polynesia.

It has approved their emblems and published the candidates' names in the Official Journal.

In a late change, the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira dropped veteran politician Eliane Tevahitua when it submitted its list.

On April 16 and 30, voters will elect a new 57-member assembly for a five-year term in two rounds of voting.

Under the proportional system introduced in 2011, a list needs the support of at least 12.5 percent of the votes to make it to the second round.

The list winning the most votes in the second round will get a third of all seats as a bonus.

The remaining two thirds will then be distributed according to the lists' relative strength.

Observers say only the ruling Tapura Huiraatira and the Tavini stand a chance to win, given their presence across the island groups.

The Tapura, led by Edouard Fritch, has the support of 42 of French Polynesia's 48 mayors.

However, in last year's election of a new French National Assembly, the Tavini candidates defeated their Tapura rivals in all three seats on offer.

In the 2018 elections, the ruling Tapura Huiraatira party won 49 percent of the votes but because of the bonus it secured 38 seats.

Eliane Tevahitua

Eliane Tevahitua Photo: Tahiti Assembly