16 Aug 2002

Fiji Democratic Party to contest municipal elections

5:37 am on 16 August 2002

The newly-formed Fiji Democratic Party has been officially registered and will contest the October municipal elections in its first public test of popularity.

Its general secretary, Filipe Bole, says the party is looking at putting up candidates in all wards of all towns and cities.

He says the Fiji Democratic Party is talking with the National Federation, Labour and the New Labour Unity parties on a possible coalition.

But the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the party will go into the elections alone.

The Fiji Democratic party was formed by Mr Bole, who is the former leader of the SVT party, members of the now dissolved Fijian Association Party and some ethnic Indians.

It says it's multi-racial and will promote multi-racial policies.

Both the SVT and the FAP failed to win any seats in the general elections 12 month ago when they were totally displaced by the now ruling SDL party led by Laisenia Qarase.

Meanwhile, many members of the SVT are oppposed to dissolving the party and merging it with the Fiji Democratic Party.

Some members say they will meet soon to elect a new leader to replace Mr Bole.