1 Aug 2014

Tahiti assembly votes in support of Flosse

1:18 pm on 1 August 2014

French Polynesia's ruling majority has passed a resolution of support for the president Gaston Flosse after France's highest court ruled he be removed from office.

38 assembly members voted for the motion which was tabled as Flosse is refusing to accept the sentence of France's highest court that last week upheld his corruption conviction.

The French Polynesia parliament building

The French Polynesia parliament building Photo: RNZ

Once the court had publicised its decision, he appealed to the French president to be pardoned so that he can stay in office.

The French High Commissioner in Tahiti, Lionel Beffre, has refused to serve him the conviction notice to make his removal from office official, arguing that it's better to first see if Francois Hollande will pardon him.

The motion says Flosse should be allowed to stay because France needs him.

His backers say they wonder who else can defend France's place in the Pacific and stand up to the pro-independence movement.

They also claim that the opposition unsuccessfully used his conviction to try to discredit his party during last year's election campaign.

The opposition has described the situation as grotesque and asked Mr Hollande to uphold the rule of law.