31 Oct 2011

Tahoeraa Congress in Tahiti confirms Flosse as party leader

10:36 am on 31 October 2011

French Polynesia's opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has reconfirmed its founder, Gaston Flosse, as its leader.

This came at a weekend party Congress in Tahiti attended by an estimated 6,000 people

Flosse, who is 80, was kept despite a string of criminal convictions for corruption, with the latest verdict sentencing him to four years in prison.

He has appealed against the ruling.

In an address, his deputy Edouard Fritch criticised the President, Oscar Temaru, likening him to a usurper because he is, as he put it, not the president of all Polynesians.

He also called for unity among pro-autonomy parties ahead of elections next year and in 2013.

Flosse was last elected president of French Polynesia in 2008 after forming an alliance with Mr Temaru's Union For Democracy.