21 Mar 2006

SDL not likely to dump Cabinet Minister from election line-up despite protest

8:08 pm on 21 March 2006

The campaign director of Fiji's ruling SDL party, Jale Baba, says it is unlikely its executive council will dump cabinet minister and Lomaiviti MP, Simione Kaitani.

Lomaiviti provincial chiefs had threatened to withdraw their backing for the SDL if Mr Kaitani stands again.

The chiefs are reported saying Mr Kaitani is not doing enough for the province and that they will field an independent candidate who will be backed by the provincial council.

Mr Baba explained the party's position to the chiefs last Saturday.

"I have explained the process by which candidates are selected in this party. They are actually not coming out contesting the process in which Honourable Kaitani was confirmed as as a party candidate. They are actually promoting somebody else, which is contrary to how the process is done in this party."

Mr Baba says he will talk to the chief executive council about it, but he says support is unlikely.