8 Sep 2014

Shock over Tahiti's Flosse removal from office

12:29 pm on 8 September 2014

French Polynesia's ruling party is in shock after its leader Gaston Flosse was removed from the president's post over his conviction for corruption.

In July, France's highest court upheld his sentence, which was for a four-year suspended jail term, a 170,000 US dollar fine and on holding public office for three years.

After waiting for seven weeks, the French High Commission in Tahiti only served him the verdict two days ago to make his demise official.

Flosse had sought a reprieve and a presidential pardon, but both bids failed last week.

His Tahoeraa Huiraatira party is to meet shortly to confirm Flosse's succession plan, with his former son-in-law Edouard Fritch poised to be elected president at the end of this week.

Mr Fritch is to vacate the presidency of the territorial assembly this week, which is to be passed to the government spokesperson, Marcel Tuihani.

The Tahoeraa dominates the assembly, having twice as many members as the two opposition parties combined.