23 Nov 2004

Fiji Labour party defends ranking of pro-coup candidate for by-election

4:45 pm on 23 November 2004

The Fiji Labour party says it won't lose support in a forthcoming by-election over its ranking of a coup convict, Josefa Savua, over other possibilities.

There's been criticism after Labour listed its own candidates first for the North East Fijian communal constituency.

And, then followed those up with the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua's candidate, Josefa Savua, who was imprisoned for leading a group of army reservists into parliament to support the 2000 coup.

A senior member of the Labour party, Lavinia Padarath, says they didn't really have any option and wouldn't have put the ruling SDL party's candidate any higher.

"You're looking at only six groups or parties plus independents that are standing. We gave SDL which gave us six, number six. Our real competitor here is the SDL, not CMV, as far as we're concerned."

The by-election will be held next month.