6 Jul 2006

Labour party lawyer claims leader not behind moves to expel rebel MPs

1:06 pm on 6 July 2006

There are claims in Fiji that the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, is not behind moves to expel four rebel MPs from the party.

The statement comes from the party's lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry, who is also Mr Chaudhry's son.

The deputy leader, Poseci Bune, the vice-president Krishna Datt, and backbenchers Felix Anthony and Perumal Mupnar are facing dismissal from the party for breaching its constitution.

Rajendra Chaudhry says the move is a branch initiative and there's a strong case against the four.

"The party constitution is very clear. If any member contravenes any provisions of the constitution or tries to bring the party into disrepute, that person is liable to be suspended and then expelled by the national council or their respective branch."

Mr Chaudhry says their bid to submit their own list of senate nominees to the president undermined both their leader and the party.

Under Fiji's constitution, an MP who is expelled from his party loses his parliamentary seat and a by-election has to be held.