17 Oct 2014

Resignation in Tahiti amid Tahoeraa rift

4:23 pm on 17 October 2014

A French Polynesian opposition assembly member has quit the budget commission amid an apparent and unprecedented rift within the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira party.

Antonio Peres of the Atia Porinetia party says the situation is pathetic as government nominations for board positions are being roundly dismissed.

Mr Peres says he is shocked at what he calls the manipulation by the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse.

The positions in question concern among others the board of Air Tahiti Nui.

The Tahoeraa has a majority in the assembly and in government, but last month it was forced to replace Gaston Flosse as president because of his conviction for corruption.

Flosse was subsequently hired as an advisor to the party's assembly team, fuelling speculation that he has succeeded in retaining much of his influence despite his criminal record.

While the president Edouard Fritch is in France, his decisions are being voided in what observers say is an unprecedented challenge of presidential authority from within the party's ranks.

The French Polynesia parliament building

The French Polynesia parliament building Photo: RNZ