5 May 2008

French Polynesian president loses position at head of communes' association

10:58 am on 5 May 2008

The French Polynesian president Gaston Tong Sang has lost his position as head of the territory's body in charge of the promotion of the communes.

The delegates from the 49 communes elected the opposition candidate Teriitepaiatua Maihi, ousting Mr Tong Sang who had held the position for 19 years.

The change in leadership is seen as a setback for Mr Tong Sang who says he regrets that the communes' association has become politicised.

He came to power last month after two government assembly members defected to his side to give him the minimum numbers in the assembly to win a no confidence vote to remove the government of Gaston Flosse.