As a French overseas collective the government of French Polynesia operates under a parliamentary representative democratic system. Officially it is known as a semi-autonomous French territory with its own individual laws, budget, assembly, and president. Its head of state, the president, has executive powers afforded to him or her by the local government. Legislative powers, on the other hand, are shared between the government and the Assembly of French Polynesia. The region’s governmental system was established according to the French Constitution as well as the Organic Law.

The governing body of French Polynesia, known as the Assembly, is made up of 57 elected members in six multi seat districts. These districts include the Windward Islands (37 members), Leeward Islands (eight members), Austral Islands (three members), Gambier Islands and the Islands Tuamotu- East (three members), Islands Tuamotu-West (three members), and Marquesas Islands (three members). One of the duties of the Assembly is to elect French Polynesia’s president who serves for a period of five years with no limits on how many times he or she may run for this office.

The governing body of French Polynesia, the Assembly of French Polynesia, meets in the Place Tarahoi located in Papeete, Tahiti. During the 19th century this building was the property of Tahiti's royal family. Today the historic structure is home not only to the French Polynesian Assembly but it also houses the Presidential Palace which is the official residence of the collective’s head of state. Located in the Pouvanaa-a-Oopa district of Papeete the modern version of this building was designed in 1996 by then President Gaston Flosse.

French Polynesia has a two-party system that is dominated by the alliances of the Union for Democracy and the Alliance for a New Democracy.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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