RULING FRENCH POLYNESIA PARTY WINS ANOTHER SEAT

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PAPEETE, French Polynesia (May 26, 1998 - PACNEWS)---French Polynesia's ruling party increased its majority in the Territorial Assembly Monday by winning another seat during by-elections.

New polling was held for 11 seats in the Leeward and Marquesas islands after legal challenges overturned the results of the 1996 general elections.

The ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, led by President Gaston Flosse, won seven of the 11 seats in 1996. This time it took eight.

The pro-independence Tavini Party won two seats.

The Tahoeraa Huiraatira and its allies now hold 25 of the Territorial Assembly's 41 seats. The pro-independence Tavini has 11 and other parties have five.

Already there have been allegations of voting irregularities and corruption Monday similar to that which occurred earlier, causing the 1996 election results to be overturned.

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