16 May 2002

Fiji High Court dismisses request to strike out three election petitions

9:12 am on 16 May 2002

A Fiji High Court judge has dismissed a request to strike out election petitions filed by three Labour Party candidates in the last general election.

The Fiji Times reports that Justice Filimoni Jitoko has ruled that the petitions filed by John Ali, Lavenia Padarath and Joeli Kalou should be heard because they have merit.

The three MPs of the ruling SDL party who won the seats in the election claimed the petitions should be struck out because they did not disclose any reasonable cause of action.

The SDL MPs said through their lawyer that the petitions were scandalous, frivolous and vexatious and an abuse of the court process.

But the Labour candidate's lawyer argued that there was a precedent for such petitions because Justice Gates had heard a similar case in Lautoka and overturned the result of the Nadi Open seat held by opposition leader, Prem Singh.

The petitions will be heard in mid-July.