Political Risk Analysis - Anti-Independent Parties To Retain Upper Hand - MAR 2018

BMI View: The main concern for French Polynesia 's upcoming election in April-May is likely to be the territory's bid for independence. Our core view is that pro-autonomy parties are likely to form the government through a coalition, while pro-independence parties are likely to gain more seats.

French Polynesia is set to go to the polls on April 22 2018 to elect a new 57-member territorial assembly for a five-year term. Utilising a two-round system, a second round of election for parties exceeding 12.5% will be held on May 6. We expect this election to be more hotly contested than the previous one in 2013, with the outcome serving as a bellwether for the territory's bid for independence. The election comes at a time when New Caledonia, another French territory in the Pacific, is scheduled to hold its own independence referendum no later than November 2018 and on the back of French Polynesia's re-inclusion in the UN's list of Non-Self Governing Territories in 2013. While we believe that it will be a tight race given the demise of the once-dominant anti-independence Tahoeraa Huiraatira party, we believe that pro-autonomy/anti-independence parties will eventually win enough seats to form a coalition government. At the same time, however, we also expect pro-independence parties to gain a greater foothold in the assembly.

Political Landscape Considerably More Fragmented

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