26 May 2006

French Polynesia's Bouteau awaits possible seat loss

12:47 pm on 26 May 2006

The leader of a centrist French Polynesian party, Nicole Bouteau, is awaiting a French supreme court ruling that could force her out of the territorial assembly for one year.

Ms Bouteau, who is the leader of the No Oe E Te Nunaa Party, has been found guilty of violating an election funding clause last year.

She says in her defence that it was a minor administrative error which she says had not been detected when returns were filed in 2004.

The advice to the Paris court is that she should be disqualified for a year but she hopes that ruling due within a week will exonerate her.

"I'm confident, I'm just waiting for the decision in the high court. And I hope that in France there is justice."

Nicole Bouteau has repeatedly topped surveys which asked the public about who they regard as the most popular politician.