Tahiti opposition considers early elections

PAPE’ETE, 30 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – The opposition camp in French Polynesia could be considering triggering early elections.

Radio 1 in Tahiti reported that the leadership of the Tavini Huiraatira Party had been discussing the possible resignation of three of its assembly members.

According to law, the vacancy of at least three seats would force fresh elections, Radio 1 said.

This comes amid objections by both opposition parties to the government’s efforts to revise the autonomy statute.

The Tavini Huiraatira and the Tahoeraa Huiraatira both want more power devolved to Tahiti and argue that the government doesn’t have the support of a majority.

They say its dominance is only due to the electoral system which gave the ruling Tapura Huiraatira Party two thirds of the seats despite it winning less than half of the votes in the May election.

The leaders of both opposition parties, Oscar Temaru and Gaston Flosse, are temporarily banned from holding public office.

Temaru was forced to quit the assembly last month because of a campaign accounting violation.

Flosse was forced to quit the presidency in 2014 over a corruption conviction.

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