French Polynesia president accused of harassment

3:37 pm on 7 May 2015

French Polynesia's ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has accused the president and his backers of harassment and blackmail in the lead-up to the next assembly meeting.

This comes as the party is at risk of a formal split, with supporters of the president Edouard Fritch reportedly ready to form a new assembly group.

The party has issued a statement calling on Mr Fritch to desist from applying unbearable pressure on assembly members and warns that it may lodge a police complaint.

It says many Tahoeraa members have been summoned to the presidence and been treated to either the carrot or the stick.

At the weekend two politicians were chosen as the territory's new members of the French Senate who were expelled from the Tahoeraa last month.

Their election by a special college was made possible because Tahoeraa members voted for them, which the party leader, Gaston Flosse, described as the biggest betrayal of his political career.

Edouard Fritch

Edouard Fritch Photo: RNZI Walter Zweifel