26 Nov 2009

Jailed Flosse considered as French Polynesian vice-president

2:27 pm on 26 November 2009

A senior member of French Polynesia's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, Edouard Fritch, says its jailed leader, Gaston Flosse, could become the vice-president of the government about to be formed.

The Tahoeraa has in recent weeks sided with the To Tatou Aia of Gaston Tong Sang whose motion of no confidence succeeded yesterday in ousting the government of Oscar Temaru.

Mr Tong Sang says the government will have 12 ministers and Mr Fritch says one of them could be Mr Flosse.

Mr Fritch has told local radio that discussions about this have been held some time ago and Mr Flosse could for example become the finance minister.

However, his participation depends on today's appeal for him to be freed from jail where he has been held for more tha two weeks as part of a corruption probe.

In September, he was given a suspended jail sentence for abuse of public funds as the territory's president.

The court also stripped him of his mandates as politician but he has appealed that ruling in the French supreme court.