2 Feb 2008

French Polynesia’s ministers return a day after resigning

12:12 pm on 2 February 2008

All but one of French Polynesia's government ministers who resigned have a day later been reappointed to the same portfolios.

The ministers had quit in solidarity with one of their colleagues, Gilles Tefaatau, who had stepped down after being fined for corruption.

But after the president, Oscar Temaru, failed to complete the resignation process by advising the assembly head of the end of their tenure, he announced that the ministers would resume their duties.

The only exception is Gilles Tefaatau whose portfolio has been given to Michel Yip.

The interlude comes amid campaigning for next weekend's second round of the territorial election to choose a new 57-member assembly for a five-year term.

The To Tatou Aia Party, which won most votes in the first round of the election, described the events as a farce.

The opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira says the whole affair has given Mr Temaru two days of media exposure.

One of the ministers to step down, Marc Collins, says the French government is interfering with the election process in a bid to avert the re-election of Mr Temaru.