FRENCH POLYNESIA'S PRO-INDEPENDENCE RADIO PLANS EXPANSION

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The director of French Polynesia's pro-independence radio network, Victor Maamaatua, is visiting two atolls in the Tuamotu island group this week, to arrange for a further expansion of Te Reo O Tefana's FM broadcast capabilities.

The Voice of Tefana now serves the highly populated Society Islands with four stations, which are located on Tahiti, Bora Bora, Raiatea, and Huahine. The fifth station, according to Maamaatua, is likely to be built on either Makatea or Tuniau in the Tuamotu Archipelago, depending on which atoll offers the best transmission relay site.

Maamaatua says expanding radio services to the less populated and widely scattered Tuamotus will benefit pro-independence efforts, by providing an alternative radio voice to the pro-French government stations already in operation there.

In the election of two French Polynesian deputies to the French National Assembly May 17, pro-independence candidates came in second to pro-French candidates in both the east and west election districts. Voting was much closer in the west, however, where the Voice of Tefana provides almost complete radio coverage.

The winning Alliance Francaise candidates were Michael Buillard and Emile Vernaudon.

Trailing by approximately ten percent in the west was the Tavini Huiraatira's Oscar Temaru. In the east, which includes the Tuamotus, Gambier, and Marquesas island groups, James Salmon lost by a spread of approximately 35 percent.

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