10 Apr 2006

One time leading Fiji political party's future unclear with just one candidate in next month's poll

7:10 pm on 10 April 2006

The future of the once-dominant Fijian political party, the SVT, is uncertain with it likely to field just one candidate in the general election.

The candidate will be an ethnic Indian, Arvin Deo Singh, who will stand for the Nadi Open Seat.

The SVT suffered a major setback last week when its Suva office was broken into and the applications of what it claims were 20 aspiring candidates were stolen.

The party's general secretary, Ema Druavesi, says its too early to say if the party will disband.

"We don't want to hurry into it and abolish it, we'll have to look at it from all aspects of it before we actually decide whether we continue or disband the party."

Ms Druavesi says the fact the party's only candidate is an ethnic Indian proves that the SVT promotes racial harmony.

It was formed by Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs as the party for indigenous Fijians and ruled the country from 1992 to 1999 with Sitiveni Rabuka as prime minister.