Gaston Flosse Loses Bid To Lift Ban From Public Office

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Former French Polynesia President can refile appeal

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 14, 2016) – France's highest court has rejected a bid by French Polynesia's former president, Gaston Flosse, to lift his ineligibility for public office.

Two years ago, Flosse was sentenced to a four-year suspended jail term, a 170,000 US dollar fine and banned from public office for three years.

He had been convicted for running a vast network of phantom jobs to support his political party in the biggest case of its kind in French legal history.

Flosse lost office after he failed to get a pardon from the French president and after the court of appeal in Tahiti rejected his bid to have the sentence wiped.

He then lodged an appeal in France's highest court which has now however confirmed the appeal court decision In Tahiti.

The appeal court had ruled that a request to wipe a sentence could only be filed six months after the sentence became effective.

This means Flosse can now lodge a fresh bid to have the sentence wiped.

If successful, he could stand for office in the 2018 election - the year he turns 87.

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