French Polynesia election voting begins on Sunday

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Campaigning for French Polynesia’s territorial elections has entered its final week.

Dressed in their parties’ respective colours, supporters of several parties held small rallies at the Papeete weekend market.

In two rounds of voting – on Sunday, 16 April and Sunday, 30 April – voters will elect a new 57-member assembly for a five-year term.

A total of seven lists are contesting the elections.

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 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 pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira stand a chance to win, given their presence across the island groups.

The last time French Polynesian voters went to the poll was in 2018.

President Edouard Fritch of the Tapura Huiraatira has held the territory’s top job since 2014.

SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS