Gaston Flosse

Gaston Flosse (born June 24, 1931) is a French politician who has been President of French Polynesia on five separate occasions. He is currently a member of the Senate of France and has been a French junior minister under Jacques Chirac. He received sentences for corruption, which are under appeal.

Gaston Flosse
Gaston Flosse.JPG
President of French Polynesia
In office
May 17, 2013 – September 5, 2014
Vice PresidentNuihau Laurey
Preceded byOscar Temaru
Succeeded byÉdouard Fritch
In office
February 23, 2008 – April 15, 2008
Preceded byOscar Temaru
Succeeded byGaston Tong Sang
In office
October 23, 2004 – March 3, 2005
Preceded byOscar Temaru
Succeeded byOscar Temaru
In office
April 4, 1991 – June 14, 2004
Preceded byAlexandre Léontieff
Succeeded byOscar Temaru
1st President of the Government
In office
September 14, 1984 – February 12, 1987
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byJacques Teuira
Personal details
Born (1931-06-24) June 24, 1931 (age 90)
Rikitea, Mangareva,
French Polynesia, France
Political partyTahoera'a Huiraatira
Spouse(s)Tonita Flosse

Life and careerEdit

Flosse was born in Rikitea, Mangareva, French Polynesia. He is of both French and Polynesian descent.[citation needed]

Flosse supports the current autonomy arrangement between French Polynesia and France and has led the conservative pro-autonomy and anti-independence party Tahoera'a Huiraatira (People's Rally for the Republic Party) for more than 20 years. He was the vice-president of the government council from 1982 to 1984, when more autonomy was gained and he became President of the Governing Council. He held that position from 1984 to 1987 and from 1991 to 2004.

On February 27, 2004, French Polynesian autonomy was again increased, and Flosse became President of French Polynesia (Le président de la Polynésie française). Shortly after, though, his party lost the parliamentary elections, and on June 15, he left office when the parliament, the Assembly of French Polynesia (Assemblée de la Polynésie française), elected the pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru, to the post.

On October 22, 2004, he was re-elected to the presidency, and he took office that day, although doubt was cast on the legitimacy of this election by Antony Géros, the President of the French Polynesia Assembly (see French Polynesia political crisis 2004). On February 13, 2005, Flosse's party lost the parliamentary by-elections, which had been called as a compromise after pressure from Temaru's supporters. On February 18, 2005, Flosse lost the presidency again in a parliamentary confidence vote, and on March 3, 2005, Temaru took over.

Apart from having been president of the territory, he has also been both tourism minister and housing minister. He is the mayor of Pirea municipality north of Papeete and has represented the territory in the National Assembly of France.[citation needed] He was first elected to the Senate of France on October 1, 1998.[1]

Flosse was able to govern French Polynesia with the support of centrist parties and groupings. He and French President Jacques Chirac have a close personal association, Chirac being a godfather to Flosse's youngest son. This relationship, of course has given the Tahitian special access to the highest levels of power in France, which he has utilised in negotiating aid packages and financial support for the territory.

On 21 June 2006 Flosse was convicted of corruption and given a three-month suspended sentence. The court found that he had abused his political office in connection with a hotel purchase. He continued to be a member of the territorial assembly and French Senate.[2]

Flosse's party came third in the February 2008 legislative assembly elections, but with the support of Oscar Temaru and his UPLD (Union for Democracy) party, which came second, Flosse became President of French Polynesia again on 23 February 2008.[3] He was replaced by Gaston Tong Sang after losing a vote of confidence on 15 April 2008, however.[4]

Flosse was re-elected to the French Senate in the September 2008 Senate election.[5]

In January 2022 Flosse declared his support for independence for French Polynesia, saying that autonomy within France had worked as long as Jacques Chirac was French president and had since been eroded.[6]

Political careerEdit

Governmental function

Secretary of State for South Pacific : 1986-1988.

Electoral mandates

European Parliament

Member of European Parliament for France : 1984-1986 (Became ministre in 1986).

National Assembly of France

Member of the National Assembly of France for French Polynesia (2nd constituency) : 1978-1982 (Resignation) March–April 1986 (Became minister in 1986) / 1993-1997. Elected in 1978, reelected in 1981, 1986, 1993.

Senate of France

Senator of French Polynesia : 1998-2014. Elected in 1998, reelected in 2008. Deprived by the Constitutional Council of France on 16 September 2014.

Presidency of the French Polynesia

President of the French Polynesia : 2004-2005 / February–April 2008 / 2013-2014. Deprived by the Council of State on 5 September 2014.

President of the government of French Polynesia : 1984-1987 / 1991-2004. Reelected in 1991, 1996 and 2001.

Vice-president of the government of French Polynesia : 1982-1984.

French Polynesia Territorial Assembly

President of the Assembly of French Polynesia : 1972-1974 / 1976-1977.[7]

Member of the Assembly of French Polynesia : 1967-2014. Reelected in 1972, 1977, 1982, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2013. Deprived by the Council of State on 5 September 2014.

Municipal Council

Mayor of Pirae : 1965-2000 (Resignation). Reelected in 1971, 1977, 1983, 1989, 1995.

Municipal councillor of Pirae : 1965-2000 (Resignation). Reelected in 1971, 1977, 1983, 1989, 1995.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ List of Senators by date of election, Senate website (in French).
  2. ^ "Former French Polynesian president Flosse gets suspended jail sentence for corruption". RNZ. 21 June 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  3. ^ "FLOSSE RETURNS AS FRENCH POLYNESIA PRESIDENT". Pacific Islands Report. 25 February 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  4. ^ "TONG SANG REGAINS FRENCH POLYNESIA PRESIDENCY". Pacific Islands Report. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  5. ^ List of Senators re-elected in 2008 (PDF file), Senate website (in French).
  6. ^ "Gaston Flosse maps out plan for French Polynesia sovereignty". RNZ. 11 January 2022. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  7. ^ Le président - Assemblée de la Polynésie française
Political offices
Preceded by
New title
President of French Polynesia
1984 – 1987
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of French Polynesia
1991 – 2004
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of French Polynesia
2004 – 2005
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of French Polynesia
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of French Polynesia
2013 – 2014
Succeeded by