French Polynesia

Political veteran Gaston Flosse back in power in French Polynesia


The autonomous South Pacific territory of French Polynesia will see the return of political veteran Gaston Flosse to the presidency, election results showed on Monday. The unstable island paradise will have its fourteenth new government in nine years.


Flosse's party won 38 of the 57 seats in the Assembly of French Polynesia, thus paving the way for his return to the presidency later this month.

Nicknamed "the Old Lion", the 81-year-old veteran politician is also a French senator, and close to former president Jacques Chirac.

He is under investigation for corruption allegations, and had to file appeals in order to run for office.

His autonomist party won fifty percent more of the popular vote than that of his pro-independence rival Oscar Temaru.

Temaru is seen as paying the price for the country's social and economic crises.

Unemployment is estimated to be between 20 and 30 per cent, while about a fifth of the island's 270 thousand people live under the poverty line.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning