19 Sep 2014

Tahiti ombudsman to run for French Senate

1:37 pm on 19 September 2014

French Polynesia's ombudsman has fended off a legal challenge by the French High Commission and can now stand for a seat in the French Senate.

Teiva Manutahi, who is also the leader of the Porinetia Ora party, went to court after his candidacy for this month's election had been struck off when the High Commission deemed his post was incompatible with seeking a Senate seat.

Mr Manutahi became the territory's first ombudsman in April after the opposition failed to stop the government, which was then led by Gaston Flosse, from creating his office.

In the lead-up to last year's election, Mr Manutahi campaigned against Mr Flosse's party and after the loss in the election's first round, he accused it of cheating and sought to have the elections annulled.

Within days, however, he changed his mind and concluded the election campaign at Mr Flosse's side.

The election of French Polynesia's two members of the French Senate will be held on September the 28th.

Teiva Manutahi

Teiva Manutahi Photo: RNZI Walter Zweifel