Voting has started in French Polynesia in the second round to elect a new territorial assembly for a five-year term.
About 200,000 voters can choose among three lists of candidates vying for the assembly’s 57 seats.
The lists of the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira, which won the first round two weeks ago, and of the autonomist A Here Ia Porinetia are unchanged.
For today’s run-off round, the ruling Tapura Huiraatira changed its list by adding four candidates of the opposition Amuitahiraa, which had been eliminated in the first round.
The list winning most votes today will get a third of all seats as a bonus, which gives it an absolute majority.
The remaining two thirds of the seats will then be distributed according to the lists’ relative strength.
To promote gender parity the lists must alternate male and female candidates.
Closing times of the polling stations vary, but unofficial results are expected by the end of the day.
Publishing any result before all stations are closed is prohibited and can incur a fine of US8$0,000.
The new assembly will meet in mid-May to elect a new president.
The three candidates are the Tavini’s Moetai Brotherson, the incumbent Edouard Fritch and the first ever woman seeking the top job, Nicole Sanquer of A Here Ia Porinetia.
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS