4 Mar 2009

Former French Polynesia President passes away

9:13 pm on 4 March 2009

Alexandre Leontieff, who served as President of French Polynesia in the late 1980s, has died of a heart attack aged 61.

Mr Léontieff had been President of French Polynesia twice, in 1987 and later in 1991.

Oceania Flash reports that Mr Leontieff, once close to another former President, Gaston Flosse, set up his own party, the Te Tiarama in 1987, resulting in his being elected President for the first time.

Alexandre Léontieff was the brother of another local politician, Boris Léontieff, who, along with other members of his Fetia Api party, was killed in a plane crash in 2003.