8 Feb 2003

Former Fiji Chief Justice withdraws nomination for UN post

9:24 am on 8 February 2003

Fiji's controversial former chief justice, Sir Timoci Tuivaga, has pulled out of the contest for a place on the UN's International Criminal Court.

His withdrawl came after he scored successively lower votes in three ballots, first 14, then 7 and finally six.

A candidate needs 57 votes to be appointed.

Fiji's NGOs had lobbied strongly against Sir Timoci's nomination because of his role in drafting decrees and purporting to abrogate the constitution during the May 2000 coup.

The Fiji Women's Rights Movement had urged the government to withdraw Sir Timoci's nomination and support the candidacy of Samoa's Tuiloma Neroni Slade.

Earlier the UN general assembly elected the president of Fiji's Court of Appeal, Justice Jai Ram Reddy, to be a judge on the International Criminal Court on Rwanda on the first ballot when he secured the highest number of votes.