French Polynesia public fund abuse bill expected to be rejected

9:29 am on 22 February 2019

A French 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 rejected.

French National Assembly member, Moetai Brotherson

French National Assembly member, Moetai Brotherson Photo: AFP

Moetai Brotherson, who sponsored the bill, said the law commission had thrown out the bill, meaning that the French National Assembly won't approve it next month.

Mr Brotherson, who is a member of both the French National Assembly and French Polynesia's assembly, said members of the ruling En Marche party now reject it outright despite a raft of amendments.

Mr Brotherson said a rejection was on the cards after it was announced that Alain Juppé would join the Constitutional Court.

Mr Juppé, who is a former prime minister, briefly left politics in the previous decade after he was given a suspended jail sentence for his party's corrupt practices.

Mr Brotherson said the proposed law aimed 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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