30 Jun 2006

Attempted leadership coup in Fiji Labour Party - report

10:00 am on 30 June 2006

A report from Fiji says there has been an attempted leadership coup in the Labour Party with the minister of environment, Poseci Bune, claiming to have assumed control.

The Daily Post says Mr Bune called an emergency meeting of the Labour caucus at a Coral Coast hotel late yesterday in a bid to gather support for his endorsement as Labour's acting leader.

The meeting was also to draw up a new list of senate nominees to replace the one prepared earlier by party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.

The newspaper report says when the agenda was read out, a group of the FLP members walked out in a show of support for Mr Chaudhry.

The report says it was not clear how many signed a letter pledging to support to Mr Bune but some who did so later withdrew it and sent a written apology to Mr Chaudhry who is in Hong Kong.

The Labour Party vice president, Krishna Datt, said it was common sense that when Mr Chaudhry was out, Mr Bune would act as party leader but denied there was move to oust Mr Chaudhry.

The party's acting secretary general, Lekh Ram Vyashnoi, said yesterday's meeting was null and void, and Mr Chaudhry's support was intact.