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French Poynesia - Government

The relations between France and Polynesia are ancient: in 1843, a treaty concluded between the representative of King Louis Philippe and Queen Pomare IV, places the "French establishments of Oceania" under protectorate. In 1880, Pomare V ceded to France the sovereignty over all the islands dependent on the crown of Tahiti. The Constitution of 27 October 1946 made it an overseas territory. The new legal status is specified by a decree of October 25, 1946, which entrusts the Territorial Representative Assembly with "territorial interests", the governor remaining responsible for the preparation and execution of decisions. The evolution continued with the establishment of a true status of autonomy by the law of 6 September 1984.

According to article 1 of Law No. 84-820 of 6 September 1984, the territory of French Polynesia constitutes "an overseas territory endowed with internal autonomy within the framework of the Republic". The territorial institutions consist of the territorial government, the territorial assembly and the economic, social and cultural committee. The High Commissioner is responsible for national interests, for compliance with laws and for public order; It ensures the regular exercise of their powers by the territorial authorities.

Beyond the modifications of terminology (French Polynesia's substitution to the territory of French Polynesia), the 1996 Statute strengthens autonomy by making new transfers of competences to the benefit of French Polynesia and allowing Polynesia to participate To the exercise of certain powers of the State. The consultative powers of the territory are strengthened. The role of the government is strengthened and the prerogatives of its president are strengthened. Finally, supervision of the division of powers between the State and the territory is adjusted by the power to seek the opinion of the Council of State.

The 2004 Statute further strengthens autonomy by transferring new powers from the State to the country. The assembly of French Polynesia has the right to vote "laws of the country" within the framework of the exercise of its powers. These acts, which fall within the scope of the law, are subject to specific scrutiny by the Council of State. Polynesia may repeal or amend any legislative or regulatory provisions that fall within its jurisdiction.

The main mode of functioning of the autonomy statute consisted in entrusting a jurisdiction of common law to French Polynesia, the State retaining a competence of attribution. In accordance with this principle, French Polynesia is competent in all matters, except those expressly attributed to the State. It may, through the acts of the Assembly of French Polynesia and its standing committee, define its own rules in most fields, including those matters which in metropolitan France fall under the legislative authority, Subject to compliance with the general principles laid down in the texts forming the constitutional bloc or those set out in the case-law. The State exercises powers of attribution centered on its missions. Thanks to the prospects opened up by the Constitutional Law on decentralization of 2003, the new statutory reform is in line with the strengthening of the powers of local authorities.

LO n°2007-223 of 21 February 2007 on statutory and institutional provisions relating to overseas territories, provided for abolition of the majority premium for the election of representatives to the APF; Increase of 3 to 5% of the score needed to participate in the allocation of seats to the APF.

LO n ° 2007-1719 of 7 December 2007 to strengthen the stability of institutions and the transparency of political life in French Polynesia - the so-called "Estrosi law", provided for election of the president must be made among the members of the assembly; introduction of the motion of no confidence in place of the motion of censure: appointment of the future president in the text of the motion. He shall take office as soon as the motion is voted; voters from Polynesia can be consulted on the decisions that the institutions intend to take.

Main changes in 2011 provided for Reform of the voting system and introduction of the regional mixed vote with the return of the majority bonus (1/3 of the seats); Strengthening of the framework for the overthrow of the government by the assembly: at least 1/3 of signatory representatives Of a motion of no confidence, to be adopted by a majority of 3/5. The number of successive terms is limited to two. In addition, the president of the assembly elected from among his peers retains his seat throughout the term of office ; Menus adjustments in the exercise of the powers of French Polynesia, the role of the local finance committee, the possibility of creating independent administrative authorities in The field of competition, the control of legality and budget of the public establishments of French Polynesia.

The President of French Polynesia is the first institution of the country, distinct from the government since the status of autonomy of 2004. The President is elected by an absolute majority among the members of the Assembly of French Polynesia, following the renewal Of the latter or following the vote of a motion of no confidence or dismissal. Its mandate is compatible with that of Member of Parliament, Senator or Mayor. It may be shortened by the vote of a motion of no confidence by the meeting or in the event of dissolution of the same meeting. Within five days of his election, he shall constitute his Government by appointing his Vice-President and the Ministers he may revoke.

He represents Polynesia and directs the action of the government, that is, the executive of the country, of which he conducts politics. Head of the administration, he promulgates the laws of the country and the deliberations of the assembly of French Polynesia, and ensures the publication to the JOPF of all acts of the institutions. He is the authorizing officer of the budget and appoints to all public offices, with the exception of those appointed by the president of the assembly.

In 1997, Gaston Flosse was a political heavyweight in French Polynesia. In 1997, Gaston Flosse toppled French Polynesia’s first pro-independence government, set up the presidential election that would return him to power and, some say, arranged the murder of an investigative journalist and political enemy. He had a spy agency run from his office to monitor opponents and mistresses, while the Chriac government in Paris turned a blind eye - Mr Flosse supported nuclear tests in 1995.

Jean Pascal Couraud, widely known from his by-line as JPK, dogged Flosse relentlessly. When the 37 year-old vanished, authorities said they suspected suicide. Then, years later, one of Gaston Flosse’s former operatives told a magistrate that JPK had been drowned. JPK had been killed by two members of a Flosse outfit, an unarmed militia called the “Polynesian Intervention Group,” also known as the “Red Shirts.” According to Guilloux, Red Shirts Tino Mara and Tutu Manate kidnapped JPK, tied concrete blocks to his feet and dumped him in the ocean.

In 2014, Flosse lost his civic rights, and consequently the presidency, over a corruption conviction which also entailed a suspended jail term. In a second court case a year later, he received another sentence involving ineligibility to hold office for two years. The appeal court stated n 2016 that the two sentences need to be served one after the other which means he won't be able to stand until July 2019.

The fifty-seven representatives to the Assembly of French Polynesia are elected for five years by direct universal suffrage on the basis of a proportional vote on a single constituency divided into sections, modeled on the regional elections. In the election in 2013, the anti-independence Tahoeraa Huiraatira won two thirds of all seats, but since then the party split, with most key members forming the Tapura Huiraatira Party. In the French presidential election, the Tahoeraa supported Marine Le Pen of the National Front.

The assembly deliberates on all matters for which the territory is competent and which are not devolved to the government; It examines and adopts the draft resolutions submitted by the Government and the draft "laws of the country", which are applicable locally and which intervene in the area usually reserved for the national legislature.

It votes the budget and approves the accounts of the community. It gives its opinion on metropolitan bills introducing or modifying provisions applicable in French Polynesia. It votes the "laws of the country" and the deliberations in the areas of jurisdiction of French Polynesia The statute provides for the responsibility of the executive before the assembly, in accordance with the traditional parliamentary system. The government may thus be overthrown by a motion of no confidence. Moreover, the assembly may be dissolved by decree of the President of the Republic, taken at the Council of Ministers, at the request of the local government, when the functioning of the institutions proves impossible.

The government meets in a council of ministers (between 7 and 10 ministers) responsible collegially and in solidarity for matters within its competence, it draws up the draft deliberations to be submitted to the assembly and the implementing measures necessary for their implementation. It also has extensive regulatory power. It must be consulted, as the case may be, by the Minister responsible for overseas territories or by the High Commissioner on draft metropolitan regulations concerning Polynesia.

The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (CESC) of French Polynesia is the fourth institution of the country. In the Polynesian language, it is officially called "Apo'ora'a Matutu Ti'a Rau E Mata U'i". The CESC plays an inescapable role in expressing the economic and social realities of French Polynesia. A place for discussion and consultation, reflection and anticipation at the service of Polynesian citizens, it appears as an active force of proposals. Although its role is consultative, policy makers can hardly ignore its views.

The CESC is an advisory body that advises on draft economic and social plans. It must be consulted by the President of French Polynesia or the President of the Assembly of French Polynesia on projects or proposals for acts entitled "law of the country" of an economic or social nature. It may also be requested by the Government or by the Assembly of French Polynesia to give its opinion on other projects or proposals for "law of the country" or on projects or proposals for deliberation, as well as on any question Economic, social or cultural character. This institution may decide to carry out studies on matters within its competence. The reports and opinions of the CESC are made public.

2018 Election

The next French Polynesian election was in two rounds in April and May 2018. The French High Commission approved April 22 and May 6 as dates to elect a new 57-member territorial assembly for a five-year term. France's ruling En Marche party announced 09 December 2017 that it will contest French Polynesia's 2018 territorial election. The party's chapter in Tahiti issued a statement to decry the territory's poverty as it has now engulfed 55 percent of the population. In a message to what it called the 700 most influential personalities of the presidential majority, En Marche also highlights the inequalities. En Marche said there are no redistribution measures while the cost of living is much higher than in France. It notes that there is no unemployment benefit or the basic support of the RSA scheme. The party said there are serious educational shortcomings, people are in debt and unemployment is above 30 percent.

The ruling Tapura Huiraatira won the first round comfortably with 43 percent of the vote. The ruling Tapura Huiraatira president Edouard Fritch in the past term he was sentenced twice and ordered to repay more than $US80,000 to the public purse. The Tahoeraa Party, which won 20 percent, is led by Gaston Flosse, who is barred from public office until 2019 because of two corruption convictions in the past term.

The leader of French Polynesia's pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira party Oscar Temaru walked out of the last televised pre-election debate. In his opening statement, Temaru objected to two rival parties jointly being alotted three times more speaking time. The TV station accorded speaking times in accordance with the results of the first round of voting.

Voters in French Polynesia went to the polls 07 May 2018 in the second round of the territorial election. Three parties were left contesting the 57 seats for the next five-year term of the territorial assembly. Turnout was 67 percent.

French Polynesia's ruling Tapura Huiraatira won the territorial election. Projections given at the close of polls gave the Tapura slightly below 49 percent.With the 19 bonus seats going to the list coming first, the party led by Edouard Fritch is bound to increase its majority. The projections also suggested the Tahoearaa Huiraatira will come second with about 30 percent, with the remainder of the votes going to the Tavini Huiraatira Party.

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Page last modified: 07-05-2018 12:10:43 ZULU