12 Apr 2006

More than 300 candidates to contest next month's Fiji election

9:32 am on 12 April 2006

More than 300 candidates have filed nominations to stand for the 71 seats in Fiji's House of Representatives in general elections early next month.

137 candidates have nominated to stand for the 28 constituencies in the Central Division, 61 candidates for the 13 constituencies in the Northern Division, 19 for the 5 seats in the East and more than 109 candidates for the 25 seats in the Western Division

The ruling SDL party is contesting 70 seats, Labour 59 and the National Alliance Party more than 50.

There are more than 40 independent candidates including government ministers Kenneth Zinck and Pio Wong, the former finance minister in the Rabuka government Jim Ah Koy, and well-known singer Seru Serevi.

The Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party leader and coup convict, Iliesa Duvuloco, says they were unable to file nominations for 25 candidates because they could not raise the 300-US dollars required as deposit for each candidate.

People wishing to raise objections to any of the candidates can do so today.