27 Jan 2006

French Polynesian opposition expects president to move against convicted minister

2:24 pm on 27 January 2006

The French Polynesian opposition has called on the territory's President, Oscar Temaru, to keep his election promises following the conviction of one of his ministers for corruption.

Emile Vernaudon was given a suspended one-year sentence in the Papeete court of appeal for corruption and fined 30,000 US dollars.

The opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira says Mr Temaru promised in 1999 that should he become the head of the government he would ask his ministers to resign if they had problems with the judiciary.

The Tahoeraa's newspaper also says it is pleased for Vernaudon that he has not been ruled ineligible to hold a public office but it regrets that a former Tahoeraa politician, Henri Flohr, was made to stay away from public office for what it says was a minor infringement.

There has been no indication that Vernaudon will resign because of today's verdict.

Vernaudon is the leader of the Aia Api party which is part of the ruling Union For Democracy.