14 Oct 2003

Fiji's Labasa mayor to sue Labour party leader for defamation

6:19 pm on 14 October 2003

The Labour party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, is to be sued for defamation over alleged comments he made about the mayor of Labasa.

Charan Jeath Singh says he has 18 farmers willing to sign an affidavit that Mr Chaudhry and other party leaders told them Mr Singh had prevented aid being distributed following Cyclone Ami.

Mr Chaudhry has since denied that he made the comments.

Mr Singh, who's standing as a candidate for the National Federation party in the upcoming Labasa by-election, says the Labour party is attempting to use dirty political campaign tactics against him.

He says he's had to take a full page ad out in the Fiji Times newspaper and ask anyone with any evidence to come forward but nobody has.

"It's just hearsay of Mr Chaudhry or Mr Chaudhry's tried to come up with some form of propaganda that will distract my voters. Ever since I have put that in the Fiji Times the people have come to know the truth, where these propaganda originated from and they've also learned that there is no substance in the propaganda as such."

Charan Jeath Singh.

Meanwhile, the Labour party vice-president, Krishna Datt, who campaigned in Labasa with Mr Chaudhry, says he can't recall the allegations being made by any of the party leaders.