10 Mar 2008

Former French Polynesian leader rejects claims of over spending

6:02 am on 10 March 2008

French Polynesia's opposition leader, Gaston Tong Sang, has taken issue with claims by President Gaston Flosse that the Tong Sang administration left an incredible debt with the ministry of outer island affairs.

Mr Tong Sang says the accusation is scandalous as he led a

transparent government.

This comes amid continued acrimony between the two former allies.

Mr Flosse has just until the end of the month to pass a budget or the territory will lose its financial autonomy, with the French high commission set to step in.

In a statement, Mr Tong Sang has dismissed Mr Flosse's accusation, saying in previous terms as president he had used public funds in an irregular fashion.

He says in 17 cases the accounts office in Papeete found Mr Flosse guilty of misspending and in 14 of those cases the Paris office upheld the verdicts.