15 Oct 2005

French Polynesia former vice president declares himself heir to longtime leader

8:25 am on 15 October 2005

The former vice president of French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch, says he's the natural successor to the former president, Gaston Flosse.

Mr Fritch has told local media that after 30 years of fighting elections, the people see him as Mr Flosse's successor.

Mr Fritch says his father in law, who was president for decades, and who's still the territory's senator, is not eternal.

Edouard Fritch leads the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party in the territorial assembly and is also mayor of Pirae.

He attributes his party's election loss to a problem of communication between the leadership and supporters.

Mr Fritch says too many of French Polynesia's voters lack conviction and vote for candidates only so they can get a job or accommodation.