French Polynesia public fund abuse bill to be debated in March

3:04 pm on 25 January 2019

A bill by a French Polynesian politician seeking to disqualify elected members convicted of abusing public funds from holding office for life is expected to be debated in the French National Assembly in March.

French National Assembly member, Moetai Brotherson

Moetai Brotherson Photo: AFP

Moetai Brotherson said his bill, which is being checked by the top administrative court in Paris, will go through the law commission next month before it is tabled in the Assembly's plenary session on 7 March.

Mr Brotherson, who is an opposition member in the territorial assembly in Tahiti as well as a member of the French legislature, says the proposed law aims to instil trust in public life.

He has said that low election turnout is in part linked to mistrust because politicians who have misused public funds can still stand.

At last year's launch of the bill, Mr Brotherson also began an online petition which is reported to have been signed by more than 40,000 people.

In last year's elections in French Polynesia, voters elected several politicians with corruption convictions, including the president Edouard Fritch and the president of the territorial assembly Gaston Tong Sang.

Mr Fritch's Tapura Huiraatira party had campaigned with nine candidates with corruption convictions.

However, Mr Fritch's predecessor Gaston Flosse has been banned from office since 2014 because of corruption convictions.

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