30 Aug 2002

Fiji prime minister wants by-election after Prem Singh's ousting

7:23 am on 30 August 2002

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has called for a by-election for the Nadi Open seat.

Th call follows a supreme court decision which said its outgoing holder and opposition leader, Prem Singh, could not appeal the ruling of the court of disputed returns to unseat him.

The supreme court said while that decision was wrong, the constitution did not allow for an appeal and called for reform of the electoral laws.

Mr Qarase says the Labour Party's Krishna Prasad cannot occupy the Nadi Open seat which the supreme court feels rightfully belongs to Mr Singh.

Mr Qarase has told the Daily Post newspaper that Mr Prasad should do what is morally right and honest - resign from parliament and pave the way for a by-election.

He says the best way to correct the injustice done to Mr Singh is to hold a by-election and give the voters of Nadi Open the chance to correct the wrong done by Justice Anthony Gates when he validated invalid votes.

Mr Singh says he will continue in politics despite losing his seat.

He says the decision was a big blow to teh National Federation Party because now it has no representation in parliament.