French Polynesia's Tahoeraa changes membership rules amid rift

8:05 pm on 25 April 2015

French Polynesia's ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has revised its statutes to change its procedure of dismissing members.

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Photo: RNZ

At an urgently convened meeting at the leader's home, it decided that members who miss three meetings without proper explanation will can no longer be considered to be party members.

The move initiated by the party leader Gaston Flosse comes amid a protracted rifts which have been open for weeks over in part who should be allowed to stand in next week's French Senate elections.

Observers say dozens of people could be affected by the policy, including the government's vice-president and the mayor of Papeete.

Reports say the threat of a dismissal doesn't apply to the president, Edouard Fritch, because he and Flosse are the party's only elected members.

Those at risk of losing party membership are ministers in Mr Fritch's government, whose policies are in part opposed by the Tahoeraa leader