15 Mar 2007

French Polynesian assembly member set to lose seat over OPT position

2:06 pm on 15 March 2007

The supreme court in France has been advised that a French Polynesian assembly member, Jean Alain Frebault, should be stripped of his seat for also holding a key public service job.

The opinion has been passed to the court in Paris which usually confirms the specialist advice.

Last September, the French high commissioner in Papeete ruled that Mr Frebault was in breach of his role as a legislator by being paid as chairman of the government-owned OPT postal and telecommunications company.

However, Mr Frebault has kept his assembly seat as he appealed the decision in the supreme court in Paris.

A final verdict is expected in the next few weeks.

Mr Frebault is part of a new eight-strong faction within the ruling majority in the assembly whose status depends on it having eight members.

He has repeatedly switched party affiliation in the assembly and last December helped bring down the Oscar Temaru-led government.