8 Feb 2005

Fiji parliament to elect new deputy speaker

2:38 pm on 8 February 2005

Fiji's House of Representatives is scheduled to elect a new deputy speaker this week.

The position was previously held by Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure of the pro-coup Conservative Alliance party.

Vakalalabure was jailed for six years for taking an illegal oath to join George Speight's failed administration during the coup.

Although Vakalalabure held his parliamentary seat and deputy speaker's position from jail, he lost both after he had missed two sessions of the House.

It's understood a government backbencher is likely to be the new deputy speaker.

Meanwhile, one of second group of men charged with taking an illegal oath to join Speight's administration has died before his trial could take place.

Nationalist Manasa Moce, 67, was charged along with the transport minister Simione Kaitani and others.

The trial is set to begin on May the 26th.