13 May 2006

French Polynesian politician awaits ruling from Supreme Court

9:50 am on 13 May 2006

The French supreme court is expected to rule next week whether a centrist French Polynesian party leader, Nicole Bouteau, has violated electoral spending rules.

Ms Bouteau, who is the leader of the No Oe E Te Nunaa Party, has been found to have submitted flawed account statements and could be declared ineligible to hold a political office for a year.

Ms Bouteau has said the issue is a question of formality, maintaining that she had acted in good faith.

If she is found guilty of the charges, she would lose her seat in the territorial assembly to the next person on the party list, Thilda Fuller.

Ms Bouteau has repeatedly been rated as the territory's most popular politician.

Another eligibility issue is with the French high commissioner after a citizen, Yves Conroy, stated that an MP with a conviction for corruption, Emile Vernaudon, should be removed from office.