31 Mar 2006

Fiji court rejects Labour bid to defer May election

9:04 am on 31 March 2006

The Suva High Court has struck out a Fiji Labour Party writ seeking to have the May general elections delayed or postponed.

Justice Roger Coventry has also ordered the Labour Party to pay the costs of the three defendants - the Elections Office, the Electoral Commission and the attorney general.

Labour had based its application on the claim that mandatory timelines laid down in the electoral laws had not been followed and the electoral rolls had not been published in time.

But Justice Coventry ruled that there are no time specifications in the Electoral Act within which the supervisor of elections must print the main roll.

Justice Coventry said it appeared that the date for the elections had been decided by others and in some cases by the Constitution and not by the supervisor of elections.

He says his full ruling will be given next week but the interim ruling was being made to ensure that the country was made aware of it as soon as possible