27 Feb 2008

French Polynesia's Flosse faces expulsion from French UMP Party

9:37 am on 27 February 2008

Reports from France say the ruling UMP Party is to expel Gaston Flosse over the arrangements that led to him being elected the president of French Polynesia.

The Paris newspaper Le Figaro says UMP is also set to endorse French Polynesia's To Tatou Aia coalition in next month's municipal elections.

The possible expulsion comes after the UMP severed all ties to Mr Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party after it refused to endorse the French-backed To Tatou Aia candidate for the presidency, Gaston Tong Sang.

Instead Mr Flosse stood as a candidate himself and was elected with the support of the mainly pro-independence Union For Democracy.

The early general election in French Polynesia was ordered by Paris despite overwhelming opposition in the assembly in Tahiti.

Mr Flosse was the only UMP senator to oppose the plan.

He is still a member of the French senate but is all but certain to lose the UMP's support when seeking re-election in September.