Gaston Tong Sang, President of French Polynesia
Born on August 7th, 1949, in Bora Bora.
Mr Gaston Tong Sang is the President of French Polynesia, in charge of international relations, relations with the French State and other institutional bodies of the country. He is also in charge of international air transport and communication.
Mr Tong Sang was elected President of French Polynesia on December 26th, 2006.
He comes from a large family of eleven children and is himself married and father of two.
After graduating in civil construction engineering in France, he returned home in 1976 to enter the civil service of French Polynesia at the Infrastructure Department.
In the early 80’s, he had taken duties in ministerial cabinets as technical adviser then as Chief of staff at the Ministry of Infrastructure.
His real entry into the political arena happened in April 1986 when he was appointed Minister for Infrastructure, Planning, Energy and Mine for the government of then President Gaston Flosse. He had remained at this position until December 1987 when the government was overturned.
After the country’s elections of 1991 and until a new change of majority at the Assembly in 2005, he has lead strategic ministries such as Housing, Urban Development or Land Ministries.
Foremost, he is a man with practical experience, field experience. Since 1989, he has been mayor of Bora Bora and at the same time he has lead the Association of Municipalities of French Polynesia.
As third vice-president of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party, he is one of the key leaders in the Leeward Islands, since being elected and reelected each time at the Assembly of French Polynesia for this constituency.
He has been decorated with the « Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite », « Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques » et « Chevalier dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur » Awards.
Mr. Gaston Tong Sang, 57, was elected president of French Polynesia on Dec. 26, 2006. He has the additional responsibilities of international relations, relations with the French state and French Polynesia institutional bodies. And he is in charge of international airline transportation and communications.
Born on Aug. 7, 1949, on Bora Bora in the Leeward Islands, Mr. Tong Sang comes from a large family of 11 children. He is married and the father of two children.
After graduating as a civil construction engineer in France, he returned home in 1976 to enter the French Polynesia civil service system with a post in the Public Works Department.
During the early 1980s, Mr. Tong Sang worked for various government ministerial cabinets, first as a technical adviser, then as chief of staff at the Ministry of Public Works.
He entered the political arena in April 1986 when then President Gaston Flosse appointed Mr. Tong Sang minister of public works, planning, energy and mines. He held that post until a change in government in December 1987.
Mr. Tong Sang rejoined the government following the 1991 French Polynesia Assembly elections, serving as minister of such key areas as housing, urban development and land affairs until a change in government in 2005.
Primarily a grass roots politician, Mr. Tong Sang has been mayor of Bora Bora since 1989, the same year he was elected to head up the Association of French Polynesia Municipalities, which represents nearly all of the 48 communes, or municipalities.
Mr. Tong Sang is third vice president in the Tahoeraa Huiraatira (People’s Rally for the Republic of Polynesia) political party. He has won a seat in the French Polynesia Assembly consistently since 1991, making him one of his party’s key political leaders in the Leeward Islands.
A man of consensus and dialogue, Gaston Tong Sang, elected by his party, succeeded in bringing together all of the pro-autonomy, pro-France forces in French Polynesia on a new government project.
In his eyes, French Polynesia is an integral part of the French Republic, an adherence that makes it possible to continue carrying through to a successful conclusion the economic and social restructuring of this overseas land after the final end of nuclear testing.
He has been decorated as a knight in the National Order of Merit, as a knight in the Order of the Academic Palms and a knight in the National Order of the Légion d’honneur.