French Polynesia's opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira party leader Gaston Flosse has distanced himself from president Edouard Fritch, who admitted to lying about the French nuclear weapons tests.
Last week, Mr Fritch told the assembly that for 30 years he had lied about the tests because he was told to so by his then leader - a reference to Flosse.
But at a news conference in Tahiti, Flosse said he had not lied, even if Mr Fritch considered himself to be a liar.
Flosse added that the French president Jacques Chirac, who oversaw the final phase of the testing regime, had always told the truth.
He blamed French scientists working on the weapons programme for misleading him and Mr Chirac.
Until 2009, France claimed that its weapons test in the South Pacific were clean and caused no harm to human health.