9 Apr 2007

French Polynesian assembly member Frebault loses court bid to keep seat

1:52 pm on 9 April 2007

The French supreme court has dismissed a case by a French Polynesian assembly member who is now set lo lose his seat.

Jean-Alain Frebault was found to be in breach of assembly rules for also being the president of the board of the state-owned OPT telecommunications company.

Last September, the French high commissioner in Papeete ruled that because of the cumulation of office, Mr Frebault was obliged to vacate his assembly seat.

But Mr Frebault challenged the decision in the supreme court in Paris which has now upheld the high commissioner's ruling.

Mr Frebault, who switched sides several times, has been part of the ruling coalition since December.

He is also a member of a faction whose formal recognition within the assembly depends on him retaining his seat because it needs to have eight assembly members.

The politician next on the list is a member of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira which is the dominant party in the ruling coalition.