30 Jun 2006

Fiji Labour leader bypasses constitution in nomination process

9:45 am on 30 June 2006

It's been revealed in Fiji that the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, bypassed constitutional processes and sent his list of proposed senate nominees direct to the president.

In doing so he ignored the constitutional role of the opposition leader, Mick Beddoes.

Fiji TV reports that Government House has confirmed receiving Mr Chaudhry's list early last week without Mr Beddoes' endorsement.

But it could not go ahead and make preparations for their swearing in because they were not endorsed by Mr Beddoes.

Mr Beddoes says he was not aware of Mr Chaudhry's actions because the Labour Party's senate list must go through his office.

Disgruntled Labour Party management board members unhappy about the lack of consultation then held an emergency meeting and gave their own list to Mr Beddoes.

Mr Beddoes said he was seeking legal advice on which list to send to Government House because he did not want to embarrass the president by any subsequent litigation.

Late last night, Mr Beddoes sad he had forwarded Mr Chaudhry's list to President Iloilo for appointment.