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Controversy surrounding ‘bonus’ seats may delay process

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Jan. 5, 2011) – Tahiti's electoral reform will definitely be implemented this year, according to various media reports in Paris.

There have been some delays, however, over the last days.

Some Parliament members from Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing majority have criticized the bill.

They reportedly criticized the fact that a bonus of seats was created for some constituencies while other constituencies had no bonus.

This is unfair, the two right-wing politicians, Christian Cointat and Didier Quentin, claimed.

The bonus of seats in the French Polynesian Assembly should be implemented for outer islands, such as the Tuamotu Archipelago for instance.

[PIR editor’s note: Tuamotu Archipelago is a chain of atolls in French Polynesia and is also the largest chain of atolls in the world.]

But the Leeward and Windward Islands, including Tahiti, will have no bonus.

No less than 37 of the 57 French Polynesian Assembly members come from the Windward Islands.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy should go to New Caledonia for the beginning of the Pacific Games in August. He should not however come to French Polynesia.

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