29 Dec 2017

Tahiti's Flosse may challenge court on whether he can stand in election

6:55 am on 29 December 2017

Reports from French Polynesia say the former president Gaston Flosse is set to test in court whether he can stand in next year's territorial election.

In 2014, Flosse lost his civic rights, and consequently the presidency, over a corruption conviction which also entailed a suspended jail term.

Earlier this month, he tried to enrol in Arue in Tahiti to be included in his party's list for the election.

According to Radio1, the town authorities refused his application.

With the rolls due by 10 January, Flosse can challenge his likely exclusion in court.

After losing the presidency in 2014, a second court case gave him another sentence involving ineligibility to hold office for two years.

The appeal court stated last year that the two sentences need to be served one after the other which means he won't be able to stand until July 2019.

His lawyers argued that the two sentences can be served concurrently, which would allow Flosse to return to politics next year.

In 2013 Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party won two thirds of all seats but it has since split, with most of its members joining a faction led by the now president Edouard Fritch.