10 Mar 2005

Former French Polynesian minister shocked at party summon

4:32 pm on 10 March 2005

French Polynesia's former budget minister, Georges Puchon, has expressed shock at being summoned to a party disciplinary committee after considering serving as a minister in the new government led by a rival coalition.

The Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has asked Mr Puchon to explain his actions tomorrow.

Mr Puchon has told the Tahitipresse news agency that he hasn't been advised about the party's concerns, making it therefore difficult for him to prepare a defence.

He says in being prepared to serve in the new government, he was acting in a spirit of reconciliation in line with the wishes expressed by the party's president, Gaston Flosse, and by the territory's population.

On the eve of his ouster as president, Mr Flosse had written to the leaders of the other main parties, proposing to form a government of unity, but his bid was rejected.