23 May 2011

Former French Polynesian leader off to Paris for talks with ruling party

7:14 pm on 23 May 2011

The former French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, is off to Paris today to meet leaders of France's ruling UMP Party.

Mr Tong Sang, who is the leader of the To Tatou Aia, became the UMP's official affiliate in Tahiti two years ago when he signed a partnership agreement with the UMP's secretary-general, Xavier Bertrand.

In 2008, the UMP severed all ties with Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party because it refused to endorse Mr Tong Sang's bid to become president.

Mr Tong Sang is also due to meet the overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, whose spearheading the fourth change of French Polynesia's electoral system in eight years in a bid to boost political stability.

The changes are being dealt with under urgency but elections are not due until 2013.