8 Dec 2003

Fiji's Labour Minister dismisses his expulsion from the New Labour Unity Party as null and void

9:19 am on 8 December 2003

Fiji's Labour Minister, Kenneth Zinck, has dismissed his expulsion from the New Labour Unity Party as null and void.

Mr Zinck has told the Daily Post that the party has not held its annual general meeting, neither has it changed its constiution, so he is not in breach of any provision.

Mr Zinck's comments follow a letter delivered to Mr Zinck's office signed by the Party Secretary, Tomasi Tokalauvere, and the President, Ratu Meli Vesikula.

The letter told Mr Zinck that he had been ordered to resign from Cabinet, severe all political links with the SDL regime and join the opposition bench, but he was guilty of insubordination.

Mr Zinck and Ofa Duncan were the only two New Labour candidates elected in the 2001 general election, but he broke ranks and joined the government, while Ms Duncan remained in opposition.

Mr Zinck says he will not step down as Labour Minister, adding that the move to oust him is a conspiracy by some trade unionists.

Under Fiji's laws an MP who is expelled from his party automatically loses his parliamentary seat, but Mr Zinck can choose to challenge his expulsion through the courts.