Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Polynesia (French): Reform to End Political Instability

(Feb. 2, 2008) Since the election of its local assembly in May 2004, French Polynesia has been in a state of chronic political instability. Five presidents have come and gone within three years and four motions of no confidence have been adopted. To end this state, the French Parliament adopted Organic Law 2007-1719 and Law 2007-1720 of December 7, 2007, aimed at strengthening the stability of the institutions and the transparency of political life in French Polynesia.

Organic Law 2007-1719 amends the method of election of the French Polynesia Assembly and reduces its term. As a result, new elections are supposed to take place in either late January or early February 2008. The Law also clarifies the existing provisions regarding the election of the President of French Polynesia. It sets a ceiling of 15 on the permissible number of ministers in the French Polynesian government.

The Law also establishes new conditions for censuring the territorial government. Any motion of no confidence must have the signed backing of at least a quarter of the members of the French Polynesia Assembly, and an absolute majority vote is needed to adopt the motion.

Title II of the Law contains numerous provisions concerning the transparency of political life, while Title III deals with jurisdictional, financial, and budgetary controls. (Loi organique No. 2007-1719 et Loi 2007-1720 du 7 décembre 2007 tendant à renforcer la stabilité des institutions et la transparence de la vie politique en Polynésie française, JOURNAL OFFICIEL [France's Official Gazette], Dec. 8, 2007, at 19890 & 19902.)