French Polynesia's Tahoeraa to endorse Le Pen

7:19 pm on 23 March 2017
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has won the endorsement of French Polynesia's Tahoeraa Huiraatira. Photo: AFP

French Polynesia's Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse has formally committed to endorse Marine Le Pen of the National Front as candidate for the French presidential election.

Flosse, a convicted former president, said the choice to back the far-right Ms Le Pen was easy because his party had been rejected by the Republicans, which was the Tahoeraa's erstwhile traditional ally.

He also said that the Republican candidate, François Fillon, had been against the Tahoeraa plan to make the territory an associate state of France.

The pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru, who himself failed in his bid to become a candidate in next month's election, described Flosse's as an attempt to save his skin, alleging Flosse wants a presidential pardon.

Mr Temaru told a news conference that Flosse offered his party's support in the presidential race if Mr Temaru's party didn't run candidates in the parliamentary election later this year.

Mr Temaru said he rejected the deal, saying his party wasn't for sale.