Pacific Islands Forum Election Observer Team concludes mission to French Polynesia

PAPE’ETE, 11 MAY 2018 (PIFS) – The Pacific Islands Forum Election Observer Team to the 2018 French Polynesia Legislative Assembly Elections has concluded its mission in French Polynesia.

In the course of its mission, the Forum met with a wide range of stakeholders representative of communities in French Polynesia. This included representatives from the State and Government, political parties, civil society, private sector, media, and faith-based organisations.

The Forum team was appreciative of the warm welcome they received and the willingness of people to meet with them.“We thank everyone who received us for taking time to meet with us and share their views on the elections” said Deputy Chief Electoral Commissioner of the Republic of Marshall Islands and Team Leader, Daniel Andrew. “Democracy is about ensuring governments reflect the will of the people, so it is important for any election observer mission to hear the views of the people.”

Jacinta Tony-Barrion, team member and First Secretary with the Papua New Guinea High Commission to Fiji, also expressed appreciation for the wide range of views shared, saying “we had very good and informative meetings and were fortunate to hear the perspective of different stakeholders on elections and government in French Polynesia.”

The consultations covered the enabling environment in which elections are held, including the electoral framework, as well as the processes for the conduct of elections.

On polling day, 6 May 2018, the Forum mission travelled around the islands of Tahiti and Moorea, and observed the opening of polls, polling, closing and the counting of votes. Team members commended the efficient manner in which elections were conducted in all stations visited.

“The set up in all polling stations was well planned and facilitated the efficient and steady flow of voters through polling stations,” said Mr Daniel. “We were also pleased to see the support facilities provided for elderly voters and voters living with disabilities.”

The Forum team observed that the elections were peaceful, and although there were many different party supporters in the vicinity of polling stations, the atmosphere was convivial. The team congratulates the government on the successful conduct of elections which enabled French Polynesians to freely exercise their right to vote.

A detailed report on the election will be prepared by the team and submitted to the Government of French Polynesia.