French Polynesia's vice-president fired for not getting jab

2:05 pm on 8 November 2021

French Polynesia's vice-president Tearii Alpha has been sacked for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

President Edouard Fritch threatened to take unspecified measures last month against him for defying a government decision making vaccinations mandatory for people dealing with the public.

French Polynesia's housing minister, Tearii Alpha

French Polynesia's housing minister, Tearii Alpha Photo: AFP

Mr Fritch said private considerations of a politician have to be sidelined in view of the collective responsibility.

However, he said because of Mr Alpha's familiarity with his portfolios, he will be retained as minister.

A new vice president is yet to be named.

Another senior figure of the ruling Tapura Huiraatira party, Gaston Tong Sang, who is the president of the assembly, is also refusing to be vaccinated.

He can only be removed by the assembly and only if he is found to be permanently incapacitated for either physical or mental reasons.

However, Mr Tong Sang could be excluded from the Tapura party.

At Mr Alpha's wedding in August, both Mr Fritch and Mr Alpha defied Covid-19 regulations, but the two and other leaders present were not sanctioned.

Last week, the assembly amended the law making vaccinations mandatory, deferring its application to December 23rd.

The pro-independence opposition asked for it to be scrapped.