19 Sep 2005

French Polynesian opposition loses another assembly member

2:02 pm on 19 September 2005

French Polynesia's opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party led by Gaston Flosse has lost another assembly member.

Emma Algan, who is a former minister, quit to join a loose new centrist group made up largely of former Tahoeraa politicians.

Ms Algan says the Tahoeraa has become like a sect in which one person decides everything - a reference to the party founder and leader, Gaston Flosse.

The Taheoraa leadership says it is surprised that she joined what it calls the traitors.

The party has lost two members in the past month alone and is now down to 23 in the 57-strong assembly.

Ms Algan says she will vote according to the public interest and join the Rautahi group, the new pro-autonomy movement promoted by a former Tahoeraa politician, Jean-Christophe Bouissou.