2008 French Polynesian legislative election

Early legislative elections were held in French Polynesia in early 2008. The first round was held on 27 January, with the second round on 10 February.[1] The early elections was the first one to be conducted under a reformed electoral system.

2008 French Polynesian legislative election

← 2004 27 January 2008 (first round)
10 February 2008 (second round)
2013 →

All 57 seats in the Assembly of French Polynesia
  Gaston Tong Sang Marché Papeete.JPG
Gaston Flosse.JPG
Leader Gaston Tong Sang Gaston Flosse
Alliance To Tatou Ai'a Union for Democracy
Leader's seat Bora-Bora Pirae
Last election
Seats won 23 19
Seat change
Popular vote 41,061 40,050
Percentage 32.69% 31.89%

President before election

Oscar Temaru
UMP

Elected President

Gaston Flosse
UMP

BackgroundEdit

2007 political crisisEdit

In July 2007, Former French Polynesian President Gaston Tong Sang was heavily criticized by Gaston Flosse, former president and the founder of Tong Sang's party, Tahoeraa Huiraatira. Flosse accused Tong Sang of caving in too easily to the demands of some of French Polynesia's minor coalition parties and ignoring the needs of Tahoeraa Huiraatira.[2] Critics of Flosse asserted that the attack was merely a move by Flosse to regain the presidency, an accusation bolstered by revelations that Flosse had "secret talks" with Oscar Temaru, former president and a leading pro-independence politician who has been Flosse's long time political opponent in the past.[2] According to reports, the talks were aimed at ousting Sang from office and setting up a unity platform between Flosse and Temaru's respective political parties.[2]

On 29 August 2007, a no confidence motion was introduced by Temaru's Union for Democracy (UPLD).[2] The UPLD said that the no confidence motion against Tong Sang was based on the fact that he had only small support in the Assembly, thus losing his legitimacy to govern. Tong Sang's own Tahoeraa Huiraatira party asked him to resign ahead of the vote of no confidence against him.[2] Tong Sang refused the calls from his party to step down.

Tong Sang's government fell after the vote of no confidence was passed by French Polynesia's 57 member Assembly on August 31. The motion Sang was passed by a majority 35 members of the Assembly, including some members of the governing Tahoera'a Huiraatira party.[3] Tong Sang tried to save his government by offering Tahoer'a Huiraatira 7 ministerial posts. The deal was refused.[3]

The motion against Tong Sang was the first time that Oscar Temaru's Union for Democracy and Gaston Flosse's Tahoera'a Huiraatira party formed a de facto alliance to oust a sitting French Polynesian government.[4]

Post-crisisEdit

After his ousting from government, Gaston Tong Sang left Tahoera'a Huiraatira and founded a new party, O Porinetia To Tatou Ai'a.[5] The new party, from the onset, had 6 members in the Assembly, all former members of Tahoera'a Huiraatira.

After Tong Sang's ouster, which was the third time a French Polynesian government was ousted from power via motions of no confidence since 2004, calls for electoral reform were heard. This culminated in an electoral reform package that was passed by France in November of the same year.

After elections were announced, President of French Polynesia Oscar Temaru stated that he would prefer to have elections after the French municipal elections in March 2008.[6]

Electoral systemEdit

The new system, approved in France on 26 November 2007, was meant to stabilise the chaotic French Polynesian political scene.[7][8][9] Under the new system, a two-round election system was promulgated,[10] and candidates from any political party require at least 12.5% of the vote to enter the second round of voting, and a general electoral threshold of 5% was set.[11]

ResultsEdit

PartyFirst roundSecond roundSeats
Votes%Votes%
To Tatou Ai'a[a]41,06132.6955,25742.8423
Union for Democracy[b]40,05031.8947,81137.0719
Tahoera'a Huiraatira27,40321.8221,96517.0310
No Oe E Te Nunaa6,6125.260
Te Henua Enata a Tu2,7722.212
Te Niu Hau Manahune2,0351.622,5021.942
Tapura Amui No Tuhaa Pae1,1830.941,4481.121
Te Avei'a1,1010.880
Porinetia Ora1,0990.870
Te Henua Enana Kotoa4970.400
Here Ai'a Te Nunaa Ia Ora4870.390
Tapura Amui No Raromatai3120.250
Te E'a No Te Autaea'era'a2880.230
Hau Pakumotu2210.180
A Tia I Nia Tamaarii Tuhaa Pae2030.160
Te Ao Hou No Oe1710.140
Heikura630.050
Te Ati O Te Henua Enana440.040
Total125,602100.00128,983100.0057
Valid votes125,60299.00128,98399.05
Invalid/blank votes1,2651.001,2410.95
Total votes126,867100.00130,224100.00
Registered voters/turnout176,75171.78170,21176.51
Source: Haut Commissariat

AftermathEdit

According to reports, the two pro-autonomy/anti-independence factions were likely to agree to form the government for the next five years, but coalition talks broke down on 20 February 2008.[12] The President of the Assembly was decided to be elected on 22 February 2008, with presidential elections in the Assembly to follow on 24 February 2008.[13]

In the election for the President of the Assembly, the incumbent Edouard Fritch was reelected with 36 votes while the pro-independence candidate Antony Géros received 21 votes; one of the 37 pro-autonomy MPs had therefore evidently voted for Géros.[14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Polynésie: premier tour des élections le 27 janvier" Archived 2008-02-13 at the Wayback Machine, AFP (Google.com), 10 November 2007 (in French).
  2. ^ a b c d e "Tong Sang Asked To Resign By Own Party". Pacific Magazine. 2007-08-30. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
  3. ^ a b "Tong Sang Out On No Confidence Vote". Pacific Magazine. 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2007-09-01.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "FRENCH POLYNESIA PRESIDENT OUSTED AFTER 8 MONTHS". Pacific Islands Report. 3 September 2007. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Ousted French Polynesia president forms new party". RNZ. 30 September 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  6. ^ "French Polynesian call to defer planned early elections". RNZ. 16 September 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  7. ^ "Rautahi Party against change of French Polynesian electoral system". Radio New Zealand International. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Paris talks to chart path for French Polynesian politics". Radio New Zealand International. 20 August 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  9. ^ "French Polynesia to have fresh election under new electoral system". Radio New Zealand International. 2 September 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Temaru afraid of going to polls, says French Polynesian opposition". Radio New Zealand International. 26 September 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Textes sur la stabilité politique en Polynésie adoptés, vives critiques PS" Archived 2008-02-13 at the Wayback Machine, AFP (Google.com), 23 November 2007 (in French).
  12. ^ "Pro-autonomy parties in French Polynesia to meet in two days to try and form governing majority". RNZ. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  13. ^ "France comments on Tahiti impasse, presidential elections in four days". RNZ. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  14. ^ "Edouard Fritch re-elected as French Polynesia assembly president". RNZ. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2022.

External linksEdit