25 Sep 2008

French Polynesia's Flosse to formally end link to UMP

1:16 pm on 25 September 2008

French Polynesia's long-time former President and just re-elected Senator in the French Upper House, Gaston Flosse, has confirmed he will resign from metropolitan France's ruling UMP party.

The UMP had openly disassociated itself from Mr Flosse in the run-up to last weekend's Senate poll.

Mr Flosse has not indicated yet which side of the Upper House he would sit on, although one possibility is that he could sit as an independent.

Mr Flosse managed to retain his seat despite UMP throwing its support behind French Polynesia's current President Gaston Tong Sang and his co-list Béatrice Vernaudon, both of whom failed to secure a seat.

For the poll, Mr Flosse had formed a ticket with pro-independence newcomer, 34-year-old lawyer Richard Tuheiava, who has become the youngest member in the French Senate.