Expulsions deprive Tahiti's Tahoeraa of majority

2:48 pm on 14 May 2015

French Polynesia's biggest party, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira, has dismissed 15 members and offically lost its majority in the territorial assembly.

The offices of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party in French Polynesia

The offices of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party in French Polynesia Photo: RNZI / Walter Zweifel

The party's political council took the action after a rift within its ranks saw a new assembly group being formed, called Tapura Huiraatira.

The split was exacerbated when two party members defied the leader, Gaston Flosse, and stood as successful candidates for the French Senate this month.

The upheaval has left the Tahoreaa with about 20 members in the 57-strong assembly, with no group enjoying a majority any more.

Among those removed from the party are the vice president, Nuihau Laurey, and the mayor of Papeete, Michel Buillard.

The fate of the president, Edouard Fritch, who has also fallen out with Flosse, is unclear because he was elected by the party Congress, which is yet to meet.

Mr Fritch has hinted at a re-shuffle that may see the inclusion of politicians from other parties, which the Tahoeraa says may amount to a breach that warrants his exclusion.

Speaking in Paris, Mr Fritch said the situation was complicated.

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