8 Dec 2003

Fiji's Labour Party wins by- election in Labasa

8:00 am on 8 December 2003

The Fiji Labour Party has won the weekend by-election for the Labasa Rural Indian seat.

The Labour candidate, Labasa lawyer, Mohammed Rafiq, polled over four thousand three hundred of the first preference votes and won outright, which mean other preference votes did not have to be counted.

The National Federation Party candidate and Labasa mayor, Charan Jeath Singh, polled under 13 hundred votes, while Subrail Gounder of the ruling SDL received 525.

The Secretary of the National Federation Party, Pramod Rae, said the party had retained its basic support, but the result showed that they still had a lot of work to do.

Voter turnout was nearly 66 per cent, or just over seven thousand two hundred, but there were nearly a thousand invalid votes.

The returning officer attributed the low turnout to a lot of voters moving away from Labasa because of expiring land leases.