18 Dec 2007

Tong Sang made head of new French Polynesian political party

11:06 am on 18 December 2007

French Polynesia's former president, Gaston Tong Sang, has been elected as the head of the party he formed three months ago.

He was chosen at a meeting of O Porinetia To Tatou Ai'a in a Papeete stadium at the weekend.

Six weeks before the territory's early general election, Mr Tong Sang said he launched the party to fight the politics of exclusion practiced by his former party, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse.

He has also denounced the Tahoeraa's alliance with the mainly pro-independence Union For Democracy as a political fraud.

Mr Tong Sang has also spoken out for continued links with France and the European Union.

His party is linked to several smaller parties, including the Ai'a Api.