Four women feature in new French Polynesian government

Photo: Tavini Huiraatira/Facebook

French Polynesia’s newly-elected president Moetai Brotherson has presented a 10-member government, which includes four women.

Brotherson has confirmed his pre-election choice of Eliane Tevahitua as vice-president as well as culture, lands and environment minister.

Several of the ministers are new to politics, with 29-year-old Jordy Chan as infrastructure and transport minister being the youngest.

Vannina Crolas, who was an official in the now ruling Tavini Huiraatira party, is the new minister in charge of the public sector and employment.

Minarii Galenon, who has been the president of the Women’s Council, is the new housing minister.

Nahema Temarii has been made the sports minister.

Brotherson said weeks ago he had more women than men aspiring to be ministers but as some women withdrew, he hasn’t been able to form a government with gender parity.

Before the election, Brotherson said he planned to have a government made up by at least half with women.

Ronny Teriipaia has been made the education minister, and Tevaiti Pomare has become the finance minister.

Cedric Marcadal has been made the health minister, and Teivani Teai is the primary industry minister.

He added an additional position to his line-up by making Nathalie Salmon-Hudry an interministerial delegate responsible for people with disabilities.

Wanting a broad government, Brotherson offered one ministerial position to the pro-autonomy opposition A here Ia Porinetai party, but it declined.

The term of government is five years.

Meanwhile, Brotherson has stated that the main priority for his government is not independence from France but continued assistance to the victims of the flooding two weeks ago. The pursuit of independence, which is the central tenet of their Tavini Huiraatira, has been Brotherson’s repeatedly stated endeavour and a long-term goal but, like his predecessors, he has shown no hurry to call a referendum.