25 Jun 2003

Labour senators walk out over unconstitutional amendment

7:32 am on 25 June 2003

All Labour Party members of the Fiji Senate have walked out in protest at unconstitutional actions in the Upper House.

They staged the walkout when the attorney general, Qoroniasi Bale, made amendments to the government's 23-million US dollar Supplementary Appropriations Bill.

The Senate has no powers to amend finance bills and never has had any since its creation in 1970.

Labour members left the House, saying they could not be party to a debate when the Senate was not abiding by the supreme law of the land.

Senator Anand Singh, who was the attorney general in the deposed Labour government, said the attorney general and the government should comply with the constitution and the amendments being sought were not in compliance with the constitution.

The Senate passed the bill after the Labour walkout.