21 Sep 2006

Judges approves French Polynesian MP in dual role

1:30 pm on 21 September 2006

A judge in French Polynesia has found no wrong in an assembly member, Jean-Alain Frebault, also being the chairman of the board of the publicly-owned OPT telecommunications company.

The judge gave the opinion to the administrative court in Papeete which is yet to make a ruling.

This follows a complaint by an OPT employee who claimed that holding the two positions at the same time was not allowed.

The judge says it would be up to the French high commission to strip Mr Frebault of his assembly seat for him to retain the board chairmanship.

The judge also found that Mr Frebault was not remunerated for his board position and therefore not in violation of a rule that banned the cumulation of offices.

Mr Frebault's position is also being challenged by Yves Conroy, who plans to stand in next year's French parliamentary elections on a platform to fight illegality.

Mr Conroy says Mr Frebault's situation goes against provisions of the 1996 Marrakesh Treaty which also applies to French Polynesia.