3 Apr 2006

Fiji SDL candidate confident of ousting opposition leader in May poll

2:14 pm on 3 April 2006

The campaign director of Fiji's ruling SDL party is confident of winning the opposition Labour leader's seat off him in next month's general election.

Jale Baba is the second SDL candidate to stand against Mahendra Chaudhry in the Ba East Open seat, an electorate that the Labour leader has represented for 18 years.

Mr Baba decided he wanted to take on Mr Chaudhry after the SDL had already chosen Faiaz Ali as its candidate.

He claims his rival has lost popularity in his electorate because he's failed to resolve pressing issues like land and sugar.

"Mr Chaudhry has been an obstacle to nation-building and progress in Fiji for the last five years. He's never tried to solve the Issues that are important in this electorate, and in fact the whole of the cane belt."

Mr Baba says the two SDL candidates will stand together to split the vote and share preferences.

He says that while Mr Chaudhry has brushed their challenge aside, he should realise they are a serious threat.