15 Mar 2012

Tahiti's Tahoeraa mends fences with French UMP

3:43 pm on 15 March 2012

French Polynesia's oppositon Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party appears to have withdrawn its support for Dominique de Villepin who is one of the candidates for the French presidency.

The Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, accepted a personal invitation from Mr de Villepin's rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, to attend a mass rally of his UMP Party in France.

Four years ago, the UMP severed all ties with the Tahoeraa in Tahiti after it refused to form a government with the To Tatou Aia coalition of Gaston Tong Sang.

Flosse later issued a statement to reaffirm that he continued to belong the centre-right UMP camp which he said he helped found 30 years ago.

He says it was his lobbying that helped Mr Sarkozy win the presidency.