26 Mar 2007

French Polynesian tribunal gives titles in jest

1:43 pm on 26 March 2007

The French high commission in Papeete says the local tribunal may have been ironic when it stated in several documents that Rene Hoffer is the president of French Polynesia.

The high commission says the communication from the tribunal doesn't signify that he is the president as Mr Hoffer claims to be.

The presidential title was used in three official documents issued by the court and sent to Mr Hoffer.

The high commission says the elected president of French Polynesia is Gaston Tong Sang and in the attribution to Mr Hoffer, the tribunal was probably ironic.

Mr Hoffer declared himself president on the assembly floor in October the 25th 2004 after both the assembly president and his vice-presidents failed to open the sitting which had been called to elect a new president after the demise of the Oscar Temaru-led government.

When the election was abandoned, Mr Temaru continued to claim legitimacy while his rival Gaston Flosse also said he was the president although he stood as a candidate.