Laurey ready for expulsion from Tahiti top party

12:58 pm on 31 March 2015

The vice-president of French Polynesia, Nuihau Laurey, says it would be regrettable if he was to be expelled from the ruling party for running for a seat in the French Senate.

Speaking on local television, Mr Laurey has confirmed that he will defy the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party and its leader, Gaston Flosse, who has re-nominated Teura Iriti and his son-in-law, Vincent Dubois, as the party's only candidates.

Nuihau Laurey, vice-president of French Polynesia

Nuihau Laurey, vice-president of French Polynesia Photo: AFP

The two were made Senators last year, but a French court annulled the election, saying that a march by hundreds of Tahoeraa supporters to the polling station on election day amounted to undue pressure on the electoral college.

Mr Laurey says he has the support of the president, Edouard Fritch, and can represent the government well in Paris if he becomes a Senator

His comments come just days after Flosse, who lost the presidency over a corruption conviction last year, had given Mr Laurey two days to clarify his intentions.

Mr Laurey has not said if he would join another party, adding that nobody wants to return to the political instability of the past decade.

In the last election, the Tahoeraa won 38 of the assembly's 57 seats.

The offices of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party in French Polynesia

The offices of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party in French Polynesia Photo: RNZI / Walter Zweifel