7 May 2009

Fritch retracts and denies French Polynesian party leadership challenge

2:02 pm on 7 May 2009

The assembly leader of French Polynesia's opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, Edouard Fritch, has retracted his call for the party founder and leader, Gaston Flosse, to relinquish the leadership.

Mr Fritch made the unprecedented public challenge for Mr Flosse to pass the torch nearly two weeks ago.

Shortly afterwards he flew overseas but he has now returned to claim that he has never made such a call.

Yesterday, the party leaders met in Papeete to discuss the matter.

Mr Fritch's challenge followed last month's internal ructions which saw key party members quit the party after disagreeing with positions taken by Mr Flosse.