30 Nov 2009

French Polynesia's new president presents Cabinet line-up

6:03 am on 30 November 2009

French Polynesia's new president, Gaston Tong Sang, has presented his government - the territory's fifth since last year's early general election.

Mr Tong Sang has also assumed the finance portfolio and made the former opposition's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party's Edouard Fritch the vice-president.

Among the newcomers in the 12-strong team are three ministers drawn from civil society to take over tourism and education.

Two ministers have been appointed from the government of Oscar Temaru who had been voted out last week amid disagreements over the 2010 budget that Mr Tong Sang hopes to finalise before the end of the year.

Although proposed for a top job, the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, has been left out as his bail conditions ban him from any contact with his party colleagues.

He was freed from Tahiti's Nuutania jail last week after 16 days of preventive detention over the probe into the alleged OPT fraud.

In two days, a judge will rule on the prosecution's request that he be returned to prison ahead of next month's joint interrogations with key suspects in the affair.