3 Jul 2006

Fiji's Opposition convinced that Chaudhry not official leader of Labour

8:12 pm on 3 July 2006

Fiji's Opposition leader says he believes that Mahendra Chaudhry is not the official leader of the Labour Party.

Mick Beddoes made the comment amid speculation over whether Mr Chaudhry is the legitimate leader and had the right to nominate senators for the Upper House.

The president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, is awaiting legal advice on the matter and has held back a list of eight senate nominees submitted by Mr Chaudhry.

Mr Beddoes says it appears Mr Chaudhry assumed the role without having been elected by the Labour party caucus after the recent general elections.

"Parliamentary leaders are normally elected by the caucus of the members of parliament following a general election, and in this case it would appear that that has not occurred."

Meanwhile Mr Beddoes says Mr Chaudhry owes him an explanation for bypassing him and taking his list directly to Presidenty Iloilo.