Female politician slaps male rival

The female president of the French Polynesian assembly in Papeete struck a male political rival three times during a meeting on Friday.

    Infuriated by insults from councillor Luc Brigato, the president Lucette Taero temporarily handed over the leadership to the vice-president, then descended from her seat to twice slap her adversary then land a punch on him.


    Only the intervention of other assembly members and staff managed to separate Taero from her victim, who did his best to keep her at a distance.  




    The scuffle underlined the bitter rivalry between pro and anti-independence parties in the French overseas territory since Taero's election to the head of the assembly in May 2001.


    "This inadmissible conduct is the outcome of a constant degradation of the political climate of Polynesia"

    Luc Brigato,

    There have been a series of rows over issues including a new rule which limits the speaking time of political groups according to their importance and insults for which Taero was herself condemned by a tribunal.


    Both Taero and French Polynesia's long-term president Gaston Flosse belong to the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party, which wants to keep links with France, while the opposition Tavini Huiraatira party demands full independence.


    "This inadmissible conduct," said Brigato, is "the outcome of a constant degradation of the political climate of Polynesia where the arrogance and aggressiveness of a single party reigns."


    He also said that Flosse would use the incident to ask for the dissolution of the assembly and the holding of new elections.


    French Polynesia is halfway between Australia and South America and has around 230,000 inhabitants.



    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.