23 May 2007

French Polynesian candidacy at centre of public letter

9:09 am on 23 May 2007

The president of the French Polynesian assembly, Edouard Fritch, has written an open letter to the territory's president and fellow party member, Gaston Tong Sang, over apparent differences ahead of elections.

He is concerned at Mr Tong Sang's apparent lack of public support of Bruno Sandras, who is the Tahoeraa Huiraatira's official candidate for next month's election of one of the two seats reserved for French Polynesia in the French assembly.

Mr Sandras has the endorsement of the French ruling UMP Party and Mr Tong Sang last week met the UMP leader and new French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mr Fritch writes in his letter that he noted that despite the Paris encounter of the two, Mr Tong Sang has not expressed his public support for the UMP-backed Mr Sandras.

He says the contest is so tight that Mr Tong Sang cannot presume that Mr Sandras will win.

Mr Fritch has now called on Mr Tong Sang to endorse Mr Sandras in line with the party's decision.