1 Jul 2006

Fiji's president questions Labour party leader's leadership

7:04 am on 1 July 2006

Fiji's president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, has questioned Mahendra Chaudhry's leadership of the Fiji Labour Party.

The president did so as he held back a list of eight nominees for appointment to the Senate submitted by Mr Chaudhry through the opposition leader, Mick Beddoes.

President Iloilo wants to know if Mr Chaudhry, who is currently in Honk Kong, is the party's officially elected leader, before he goes ahead with the appointment of the senators.

The developments follow the appointment of the environment minister, Poseci Bune, as acting party leader by a majority of Labour's management board.

The faction has given its own list of senate nominees to President Iloilo and informed him that Mr Chaudhry was not re-endorsed as party leader after this year's general election.

Mr Chaudhry is therefore not the properly elected party leader and not entitled to recommend people for senate appointments.