14 Jul 2006

France's UMP backs Flosse despite corruption conviction

3:14 pm on 14 July 2006

France's ruling UMP Party has reconfirmed its confidence in French Polynesia's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, saying they are natural and historic partners.

The UMP meeting in Paris has expressed his confidence in the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, although he was given a suspended prison sentence for corruption last month.

The UMP has reconfirmed him as departmental party secretary for the French Pacific territory.

The gathering was addressed by the party's leader, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Despite a French law banning politicians with criminal convictions from holding a public office, Mr Flosse has remained a member of the French Polynesian territorial assembly and the French senate.

Gaston Flosse has not appealed his suspended three month jail sentence.