6 Oct 2011

Flosse says new French Polynesia leaders responsible for ruin

8:21 pm on 6 October 2011

French Polynesia's veteran politician Gaston Flosse has accused the current and previous president of having led the territory to ruin.

Speaking on public television after being convicted and sentenced to four years in jail for abuse of funds, Flosse says Oscar Temaru and Gaston Tong Sang have left the government's coffers empty.

He says before his 2004 election loss, the administration had reserves of nearly 300 million US dollars.

But Mr Temaru's party has hit back, accusing him of selling the country and its people to the nuclear devil - an allusion to Flosse's support of the French nuclear weapons testing regime.

It says the poor were at his whim, with promises of housing or jobs if they voted for him.

The party says after his loss, with the help of the French state he did whatever was possible to stifle change.

It says he has succeeded as he has brought about instability that has allowed no government to move forward.