23 Mar 2006

Baba nomination queried withing Fiji's ruling SDL Party

1:39 pm on 23 March 2006

A report from Fiji says the ruling SDL party's decision to endorse a former senior Labour Party member, Dr Tupeni Baba, as its general election candidate is being questioned within the party.

The Daily Post reports that SDL insiders are unhappy with the choice of Dr Baba who was one of the founders of the Labour Party in 1985.

Dr Baba was deputy prime minister in the Labour coalition government taken hostage by George Speight but after falling out with Mahendra Chaudhry he formed the New Labour Unity Party to fight and lose the 2001 general election.

The Post quotes SDL party insiders as saying Dr Baba did not apply for party ticket in the May general election and have expressed shock at his selection.

The SDL's campaign director Jale Baba, who is no relation of Dr Baba, has admitted Dr Baba was exempt from the normal primary selection procedure.

But Mr Baba says the SDL had had discussions with Dr Baba who had consented to be their candidate.