Édouard Fritch

Winfred Édouard Tereori Fritch (born 4 January 1952) is a French politician who has served as President of French Polynesia since 2014. He previously presided over the Assembly of French Polynesia on three occasions: from April 2007 to February 2008, from February 2009 to April 2009 and from May 2013 to September 2014.[1] Until 2015, Fritch was co-president of Tahoera'a Huiraatira, a pro-French political party, before he became president of the newly-established Tapura Huiraatira.[2][3]

Édouard Fritch
Edouard Fritch Président Visite Huahine 10.3.2017a IMG 5519.jpg
6th President of French Polynesia
Assumed office
12 September 2014
Vice PresidentNuihau Laurey
Teva Rohfritsch
Tearii Alpha
Jean-Christophe Bouissou
Preceded byGaston Flosse
President of Tapura Huiraatira
Assumed office
20 February 2016
Preceded byOffice established
Vice President of French Polynesia
In office
25 November 2009 – 1 March 2011
PresidentGaston Flosse
Preceded byAntony Géros
Succeeded byTearii Alpha
In office
23 February 2008 – 15 April 2008
PresidentGaston Flosse
Preceded byAntony Géros
Succeeded byJules Ienfa
In office
23 October 2004 – 3 March 2005
PresidentGaston Flosse
Preceded byJacqui Drollet
Succeeded byJacqui Drollet
In office
30 May 1996 – 14 June 2004
PresidentGaston Flosse
Preceded byMichel Buillard
Succeeded byJacqui Drollet
Member of the National Assembly
for French Polynesia's 1st constituency
In office
20 June 2012 – 23 April 2014
Preceded byMichel Buillard
Succeeded byMaina Sage
President of the Assembly of French Polynesia
In office
16 May 2013 – 12 September 2014
Preceded byJacqui Drollet
Succeeded byMarcel Tuihani
In office
12 February 2009 – 9 April 2009
Preceded byOscar Temaru
Succeeded byPhilip Schyle
In office
12 April 2007 – 29 February 2008
Preceded byPhilip Schyle
Succeeded byOscar Temaru
Mayor of Pirae
Assumed office
28 March 2014
Preceded byBéatrice Vernaudon
In office
10 May 2000 – 16 March 2008
Preceded byGaston Flosse
Succeeded byBéatrice Vernaudon
Personal details
Born (1952-04-01) 1 April 1952 (age 70)
Papeete, French Polynesia
Political party
  • Joan Flosse (divorced)
  • Angeline Lehartel
  • Marc Manuarii Fritch
  • Pamela Fritch
  • Joan Fritch
Alma mater

He became a member of the Assembly of French Polynesia in 1986.[4] He was reelected in 1991, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2013. He served as a cabinet minister in French Polynesia several times between 1984 and 2011. From 1996 to 2004, from 2004 to 2005, in 2008 and again from 2009 to 2011, he served as Vice President of French Polynesia under his father-in-law Gaston Flosse.[5] From 2000 to 2008, he was Mayor of Pirae, where he succeeded Flosse.[6] He lost the 2008 election, but remained a municipal councillor.[7] He was subsequently reelected to the mayorship in 2014.


Born in Papeete, Fritch graduated from the École des ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris. He came back from metropolitan France in 1980 to work for the commune of Pirae.

2004 French Polynesian legislative electionEdit

2008 French Polynesian legislative electionEdit

The 2008 French Polynesian legislative election took place on January 27, 2008, and February 10, 2008.[8] The pro-French political of former President Gaston Tong Sang, O Porinetia To Tatou Ai'a, secured 27 of the 57 seats in the new French Polynesian Assembly.[8] Fritch's Tahoeraa Huiraatira party won 10 seats.[8]

Negotiations between Fritch and Tong Sang reportedly broke down earlier in the week of February 17.[9] Tong Sang said that he was prepared to offer Fritch's Tahoeraa Huiraatira party the Speaker of the Assembly, as well as 4 of the 15 ministerial posts, should he form a new government.[10] Fritch refused Tong Sang's offer, saying that he wanted no less than five ministerial positions.[9]

However, the two sides finally reached an eleventh-hour deal between Tong Sang's O Porinetia To Tatou Ai'a party and the Tahoeraa Huiraatira to form a new pro-French coalition in the Assembly.[10] On Thursday, February 21, 2008, Tong Sang announced that he had offered Fritch's Tahoeraa Huiraatira five ministerial positions, which Fritch had wanted, plus the Speakership of the Assembly and the chairmanships of three parliamentary committees.[10]

Fritch was re-elected as the President of the Assembly inaugural sitting of the new 2008 legislative assembly following the political deal.[8] Fritch was re-elected with a total of 36 votes while pro-independence candidate Antony Géros came in second with 21 votes.[11]

He served as Speaker for only two months under Gaston Flosse in 2008 until Gaston Tong Sang was elected president in April 2008.[2]

2009 French Polynesian presidential electionEdit

Fritch stood as a candidate for President of French Polynesia for the Tahoera'a Huiraatira party in the 2009 French Polynesian presidential election. However, he failed to garner enough votes, coming in third place to Oscar Temaru.

Fritch was once again elected as the President of the Assembly of French Polynesia on February 12, 2009.[2] His election as Speaker was part of the coalition agreement which allowed Oscar Temaru to be elected president the day before.[2] Fritch was elected with the support of 38 of the 57 members of the Assembly.[2]

On April 9, 2009, a second election was held for President of the Assembly following a reshuffling of the government. Former President Gaston Tong Sang had moved to join the ruling coalition of President Oscar Temaru.[12] Fritch initially resisted calls for a new election, saying that his position was necessary for the current April 9 Assembly session.[13] However, a new election was held following legal advice from the French Council of State in Paris.[13]

Fritch was defeated by Philip Schyle in the election on Thursday morning, April 9, 2009.[14] Schyle, a member of the O Porinetia To Tatou Ai'a, received 40 votes, while Fritch garnered obtained just 14 votes.[14] One Assembly member did not vote and there were two blank ballots.[13] Schyle immediately became the new Speaker.

In a speech following his ouster as President, Fritch expressed "disappointment" that the UPLD-Tahoeraa political alliance was in trouble.[13] He called the timing of the election unfortunate "in a time of economic crisis."[13] He also accused the new alliance between President Temaru and former President Gaston Tong Sang as being inspired by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.[13]

2012 French legislative electionEdit

Fritch was elected on 16 June 2012 as member of the National Assembly of France in the 1st constituency of French Polynesia. He seated in the Union for Democrats and Independents group in the National Assembly, chaired by former minister Jean-Louis Borloo. He resigned in April 2014 because of a new law preventing cumulative mandates.

2013 French Polynesian legislative electionEdit

2014 French Polynesian presidential electionEdit

2018 French Polynesian presidential electionEdit

Honours and decorationsEdit

Territorial honoursEdit

Ribbon bar Honour
  Grand Cross of the Order of Tahiti Nui (automatically after entering office of President of French Polynesia)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Le président - Assemblée de la Polynésie française
  2. ^ a b c d e "Fritch becomes Speaker in French Polynesia". RNZ. 13 February 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  3. ^ Hermès N° 32-33 : La France et les outre-mers. L'enjeu multiculturel ed. Tamatoa Bambridge - Page 517 - 2002 "Édouard Fritch, du Tahoeraa Huiraatira (parti présidé par M. Flosse, président du gouvernement actuel), par exemple, rappelle : « Nous disons les Polynésiens d'abord, c'est notre mot d' ordre sur ce sujet »9."
  4. ^ Liste, par ordre alphabétique et par départements France. Parlement (1946- ). Assemblée nationale - 1986 Page 65 "... Jean Foyer, Édouard Fritch, Robert Galley, Henri de Gastines, ..."
  5. ^ Sarah Netter L'état des régions françaises 2002 Page 247 "... vice-président : Édouard Fritch."
  6. ^ Séverine Tessier Polynésie, les copains d'abord: l'autre système Chirac? 2005 Page 40 "... qu'il [Gaston Flosse] distribue comme s'il s'agissait de son argent. ... Le secrétaire général du parti, Édouard Fritch, gendre de Gaston Flosse ..."
  7. ^ Jean-Marc Regnault - Le pouvoir confisqué en Polynésie française 2005 -Page 100 "Le lundi soir encore Gaston Flosse n'aurait pas su qu'il déposerait cette motion le lendemain déclarent Jean-Christophe Bouissou sur les ondes de RFO le jeudi 6 octobre et encore Édouard Fritch sur la chaîne TNTV le 17 octobre.
  8. ^ a b c d "FLOSSE RETURNS AS FRENCH POLYNESIA PRESIDENT". Pacific Islands Report. 25 February 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Coalition talks in French Polynesia break down". RNZ. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  10. ^ a b c "Fritch Re-elected Speaker of French Polynesia's Legislative Assembly". Ocean Flash. Pacific Magazine. 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-02-22.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Edouard Fritch re-elected as French Polynesia assembly president". RNZ. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  12. ^ "French Polynesia's Tahoeraa leaves Temaru government". RNZ. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "FLOSSE ALLY OUT AS FRENCH POLYNESIA SPEAKER". Pacific Islands Report. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Schyle elected French Polynesia assembly president". RNZ. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2021.