22 Apr 2009

French Polynesia's Tahoeraa loses top member, suspends others

1:22 pm on 22 April 2009

One of French Polynesia's members of the French assembly, Bruno Sandras, has announced that he will quit the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party of Gaston Flosse.

Mr Sandras has strongly criticised the party, accusing it of spending its time sanctioning or excluding people.

He has told Tahitipresse that he disagreed with Mr Flosse's decision to suspend the party membership of a mayor who last year said he wouldn't vote for Mr Flosse in the French senatorial election.

This comes as the Tahoeraa has suspended the two ministers, Frederic Riveta and Teva Rohfritsch, who refused to quit the Oscar Temaru-led government announced last week.

Their suspension doesn't amount to an expulsion but the move has brought to 21 the number of Tahoeraa politicians to either leave the party or be evicted from it since 2005.

The Tahoeraa, which dominated French Polynesian politics until 2004, is now the opposition, holding 10 of the assembly's 57 seats.

Mr Flosse has written to Mr Temaru to say that it is wrong to say that his government includes all political parties.