Gaston Tong Sang

Gaston Tong Sang[1] (born August 7, 1949 in Bora Bora) is a French politician and is the former President of French Polynesia.[2] He served terms as President of French Polynesia from November 2009 until April 2011, from April 2008 until February 2009 and from December 2006 until September 2007; he is currently the Mayor of Bora-Bora. He is of Chinese descent,[3] and is a founding member of French Polynesia's pro-French Tahoera'a Huiraatira political party.[4]

Gaston Tong Sang
Gaston Tong Sang Marché Papeete.JPG
President of French Polynesia
In office
25 November 2009 – 1 April 2011
Preceded byOscar Temaru
Succeeded byOscar Temaru
In office
April 15, 2008 – 12 February 2009
Preceded byGaston Flosse
Succeeded byOscar Temaru
In office
December 26, 2006 – August 31, 2007
Preceded byOscar Temaru
Succeeded byOscar Temaru
President of the Assembly of French Polynesia
Assumed office
May 17, 2018
Preceded byMarcel Tuihani
Personal details
Born (1949-08-07) August 7, 1949 (age 72)
Bora Bora, French Polynesia, France
Political partyTahoera'a Huiraatira (Popular Rally) (to 2007)
O Porinetia To Tatou Ai'a (Polynesia, Our Home) (2007-2013)

Personal lifeEdit

Tong Sang was born in Bora Bora. His mother was Aren Siou Moun, 81, known as Mama Are, who died on July 21, 2007.

President of French PolynesiaEdit

Tong Sang was the Tahoera'a Huiraatira party's presidential candidate in the election of March 2005, but was defeated by Oscar Temaru by 29 votes to 26. On 26 December 2006, Tong Sang was elected President of French Polynesia by 31 votes to 26.

On January 18, 2007 Tong Sang's new government survived a motion of no confidence brought by the party of former French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru. Only 26 MPs showed up for the vote, which needed three additional MPs in order to pass.[5]

2007 Political CrisisEdit

Gaston Tong Sang was heavily criticized by former French Polynesian President Gaston Flosse in July 2007. Flosse, a powerful pro-France politician and founder of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, of which Tong Sang is a member, accused Tong Sang of caving in too easily to the demands of some of French Polynesia's minor coalition parties and ignoring the needs of Tahoeraa Huiraatira.[6]

Critics of Flosse charged that the allegations against Tong Sang were a move by Flosse to regain the presidency. Flosse's critics bolstered their charges against Flosse when it was revealed that Flosse had held "secret talks" with Oscar Temaru, a leading pro-independence politician who has been Flosse's long time political opponent in the past.[6] According to reports, the talks were aimed at ousting Tong Sang from office and setting up a unity platform between Flosse and Temaru's respective political parties.[6]

A no confidence motion was introduced by Temaru's Union for Democracy (UPLD) party on Wednesday, August 29, 2007.[6] The UPLD said that the no confidence motion against Tong Sang was based on the fact that he had only small support in Parliament and that he had lost his legitimacy to govern. Tong Sang's own Tahoeraa Huiraatira party asked President Tong Sang to resign ahead of the vote of no confidence against him.[6] Tong Sang refused the calls from his party to step down.

Gaston Tong Sang was removed from office and his government fell after a vote of no confidence on August 31, 2007. The motion of no confidence was passed by French Polynesia's 57 member Parliament. The motion against Tong Sang was passed by a majority 35 members of Parliament, including some members of Tong Sang's own Tahoera'a Huiraatira party.[4] Tong Sang had tried to save his government by offering Tahoer'a Huiraatira 7 ministerial posts. The party refused.[4]

The motion against Tong Sang was the first time that Oscar Temaru's Unity for Democracy Party and Gaston Flosse's Tahoera'a Huiraatira party had formed a de facto alliance to oust a sitting French Polynesian government.[4]

Tong Sang continued on as part of a caretaker government position until new elections were held on September 10, 2007.[4]

The Tong Sang government was the third French Polynesian government to fall to motions of no confidence in the preceding three years,[4] prompting calls for reform.

On September 14, 2007, Temaru was elected as President of French Polynesia for the third time in three years, replacing Tong Sang.[7]

Tong Sang subsequently founded a new party, O Porinetia To Tatou Ai'a, on 1 October 2007.[8]

On 15 April 2008 Tong Sang again became President following a no confidence motion against the government of Gaston Flosse.[9] He resigned again on 8 February 2009,[10] and Oscar Temaru became president again after beating Tong Sang in the presidential election on 12 February 2009.

Return to the Presidency (2009-2011)Edit

He became president again on 25 November 2009 after Temaru fell in a vote of no confidence.[11] He fell to a vote of no confidence himself on 1 April 2011.[12]

President of the Assembly (since 2018)Edit

He was elected as the President of the Assembly of French Polynesia on 17 May 2018[13]


  1. ^ "Tong Sang" is the family name, "Gaston" is the given name.
  2. ^ "Civil society to be included in new French Polynesia government". RNZ. Wellington, New Zealand. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  3. ^ Gaston Tong Sang Elected French Polynesia President; Temaru To Seek Re-election In Tahiti Stalemate
  4. ^ a b c d e f "FRENCH POLYNESIA PRESIDENT OUSTED AFTER 8 MONTHS". Pacific Islands Report. 3 September 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Motion of no confidence in new French Polynesia government fails". RNZ. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Tong Sang Asked To Resign By Own Party". Pacific Magazine. 2007-08-30. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
  7. ^ BBC NEWS, French Polynesia gets new leader
  8. ^ "Ousted French Polynesia president forms new party". RNZ. 30 September 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  9. ^ "French president welcomes French Polynesia's change of leadership". Radio New Zealand. 17 April 2008.
  10. ^ "French Polynesia's government falls four days ahead of no confidence vote". RNZ. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  11. ^ "French Polynesian assembly votes out Temaru government". Xinhua. 25 November 2009. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012.
  12. ^ "French Polynesia's Tong Sang ousted by Temaru". RNZ. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  13. ^ Le président - Assemblée de la Polynésie française
Political offices
Preceded by President of French Polynesia
2006 – 2007
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of French Polynesia
2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of French Polynesia
2009 – 2011
Succeeded by