Last modified: 2005-09-10 by ivan sache
Keywords: tahoeraa huiraatira | flosse (gaston) |
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Official flag of Tahoeraa Huiraatira - Image by Pascal Vagnat, 13 February 2005
Gaston Flosse was born in 1934 in Rikitea on the island of Mangareva, part of the Gambier archipelago. His father came from Lorraine to Polynesia, where he grew oysters producing the highly priced Polynesian black pearls. In 1938, the family moved to Tahiti and settled in Pirae. Flosse studied with the Ploërmel Brothers' School (today Lamennais School) in Papeete, where he taught for 13 years, before being an insurance broker. He established close relations with the richest men of Polynesia, for instance Albert Moux, co-owner of the newspaper Les Nouvelles de Tahiti; Robert, nicknamed the Pearls' Emperor; and Louis Wan, the local tycoon of brewery, mass marketing and hotel business.
In 1958, Flosse joined the UTD-UNR (Union Tahitienne Démocratique), the local branch of the Gaullist
movement, founded by Rudy Bambridge. In 1965, he was the first elected
Mayor of Pirae; he resigned in 2000 because of the law limiting the
number of political mandates.
In 1967, he was elected at the Territorial Assembly of French Polynesia as a member of the UT-UDR, which had succeded the UTD-UNR. He founded the Tahoeraa Huiraatira (Rassemblement du Peuple - People's Union) on 6 May 1977.
In 1984, Flosse was a Deputy at the European Parliament, where he
negotiated the first status of internal autonomy for French Polynesia;
he was the same year the first elected President of the Polynesian
Government (1984-1987). Under his second Presidency (1991-2004), the status of French Polynesia was
amended in 1996 and 2004.
In 1986-1988, he was appointed State Secretary for the South Pacific by Jacques Chirac, then Prime Minister under François Mitterrand's Presidency of the Republic.
Flosse is a personal friend of President Jacques Chirac, who is the godfather of one of his sons, named Jacques. Flosse's party can be considered as the local branch of Jacques Chirac's party UMP, to which it is officially affiliated, the same "model" being used in New Caledonia by the RPCR.
Gaston Flosse has been involved in several corruption affairs but was
hardly bothered by justice, having been always conveniently discharged
Flosse's opponents claim that the autonomy status is nothing but a tailor-made status aimed to maintain French Polynesia under the complete control of the French government through Gaston Flosse's personal power.
In May 2004, Flosse expected a huge victory in the territorial
elections; amendments of the electoral law and the status of French
Polynesia would have given him an absolute power.
However, the elections were won by Oscar Temaru's independentist party, Tavini Huiraatira. Flosse initially refused to recognize his defeat and started to plot against the new government. Temaru's government was defeated on 9 October 2004.
After by-elections won by his coalition on 13 February 2005, Temaru was again elected President of French Polynesia.
Ivan Sache, 30 August 2005
The official flag of Tahoeraa Huiraatira is horizontally divided orange-white-orange (1:2:1) with the party emblem in the middle. The similarity of this flag with the flag of French Polynesia is of course not coincidental.
The party statutes say:
Article 3. The colour of Tahoeraa is orange.
Its emblem was adopted by the Territorial Congress hold on 12-13 March 1982.
Ivan Sache, 13 February 2005Another flag of Tahoeraa Huiraatira - Image by James Dignan, 14 February 2005
Last night's TV news showed another flag of Tahoeraa Huiraatira, with the central emblem in black on a plain orange field.
James Dignan, 14 February 2005
For the 2005 by-elections, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira was assigned list #7, with the following characteristics (Haut-Commissariat de la République en Polynésie Française; Circonscription des Îles du Vent; Papeete):
Colour: Orange 021
Jens Pattke, 14 February 2005