In brief

Pro-independence party wins first round of Polynesian election

Tavini Huiraatira will face two anti-independence parties in second round

Moethai Brotherson.
Moethai Brotherson.
Left-wing pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira party has won the first round of the election to the Assembly of Polynesia, a semi-autonomous territory of France. Tavini won 34.8% of the vote, ahead of centre-right Tapura Huiraatira, the ruling autonomist party, which won 30.6%. Turnout was 59.3 per cent.

The second round is set to take place on 30 April, in which all 57 seats in the Assembly will be allocated. Parties with less than 12.5% of the vote in the first round are eliminated (if they have reached between 5% and 12.5%, they can merge with a party passing the threshold). Apart from Tavini and Tapura, only one other party has passed the 12.5% threshold: A here ia Porinetia, a right-wing splinter of Tapura that opposes independence likewise.

In the 2018 Polynesian election, Tavini obtained 20.7 per cent in the first round and 23.1 per cent in the second. Last year, in the French legislative election, the independence movement won all 3 seats at stake in Polynesia.

As part of its platform, Tavini prioritises socio-economic issues. Its candidate for the Polynesian presidency, Moetai Brotherson, admits that independence is not a project that can be implemented in the short term, placing the territory’s progress towards sovereignty within the framework of the UN Decolonisation Committee. Polynesia is considered a non-self-governing territory by the UN, so a decolonisation process will be conducted eventually.