20 May 2013

Flosse appoints new French Polynesia government

6:35 am on 20 May 2013

French Polynesia's newly elected president, Gaston Flosse, has named an eight-member government, just hours after the assembly elected him for a fifth time in 29 years.

Mr Flosse, who is 81, has vowed to spend his last years in politics to try to lead the territory out of its economic crisis.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Gaston Flosse was moved to tears when he regained the presidency, saying he would take charge of the fight against poverty and keep his promise to give money to the thousands of unemployed. He has named Nuihau Laurey as his vice-president and economics minister in a team tasked with broad reforms. Mr Flosse denounced the UN decision to reinscribe French Polynesia on the UN list of territories to be decolonised, describing it as dictatorial and vowing that he won't ever let the UN flag fly on his palace. The vote in New York, which was boycotted by France, came in the dying hours of the presidency of Oscar Temaru, for whom it was a last minute political win after a personal campaign of more than 30 years."