Convict Flosse upheld by French top party

July 14, 2006 at 12:58 PM

PARIS, July 14 (UPI) -- The head of the top French Polynesian political party has the support of France despite being found guilty of corruption.

French leaders declared their support for Gaston Flosse and the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party during a meeting of the Union for a Popular Movement, France's ruling party.

Radio New Zealand International reports Nicolas Sarkozy, the party leader and France's interior minister, called Flosse's party a partner with the UPM during the Paris meeting.

Flosse continues to be a member of the French Polynesian Territorial Assembly and French Senate despite a law against convict politicians from taking office.

Flosse was convicted in June of corruption and handed a suspended three-month sentence. He hasn't appealed that ruling.

The UPM also retained Flosse as French Polynesia's departmental party secretary.

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