23 Dec 2004

French Polynesia upgrades housing portfolio

2:54 pm on 23 December 2004

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, has given the public housing portfolio to the employment minister, Lucette Taero.

Mrs Taero was the speaker of the assembly which was dissolved earlier this year.

In a statement, the government says the significance of social housing warrants a separate ministry.

Meanwhile, the man maintaining to be the president legally elected on October the 25th, Rene Hoffer, has written to the French high commission in Papeete, demanding what he says is his lawful financial entitlement to run the presidency.

Mr Hoffer says he wants just over 30,00 US dollars disbursed before the end of the year.

He claims that the French supreme court ruling confirming Mr Flosse's election on October 22nd does not make his self-proclaimed election on October the 25th invalid.

October the 25th was the date set by the speaker but no formal assembly session took place because the third vice-president of the assembly refused to follow the speaker's instruction to open the sitting.

Although elected on the 22nd as president, Mr Flosse stood as a candidate on October the 25th.