French Polynesia incumbent wins resounding election victory

PAPE’ETE, 08 MAY 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – French Polynesia’s ruling Tapura Huiraatira party has won a resounding victory in the run-off round of the territorial election.

The party led by Edouard Fritch secured 49 per cent of the vote and because of provisions of the electoral system, this translates into 38 seats in the 57-member assembly.

Its share is twice the size of the combined result of the opposition made up of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira and the Tavini Huiraatira.

The Tahoeraa won 28 per cent and the Tavini 23 per cent of the vote.

This gives the Tahoeraa 11 seats and the Tavini, led by Oscar Temaru, eight seats.

Turnout was 67 per cent, which is six percent lower than in the last election 2013.

In his victory speech, Fritch said voters had chosen realism over demagagy, autonomy over independence and development over welfare assistance.

The Tahoeraa leader Gaston Flosse, who was barred from standing because of a corruption conviction, said there was such fiddling and cheating in the election that he cannot congratulate the winner.

The new assembly is due to be convened on 17 May to elect an assembly president and a day later to choose the president of the territorial government.

The Tapura was formed as a group in the assembly three years ago amid rifts within the Tahoeraa which in 2013 had been elected with an overwhelming majority.

Two years ago, Fritch formed the Tapura which merged with the assembly’s anti-independence politicians who didn’t belong to the Tahoeraa

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