8 Dec 2003

Fiji's labour minister says he can't be expelled from party

5:00 pm on 8 December 2003

Fiji's Labour minister, Kenneth Zinck, says he's meeting with his lawyers over moves by the New Labour Unity party to expel him.

He says the high court has already dismissed an attempt by the NLUP to get rid of him so as far as he's concerned, the status quo remains and the expulsion is null and void.

Mr Zinck crossed the floor and became a cabinet minister in the ruling SDL administration rather than remain in opposition as the party wanted.

He says he hasn't committed any breaches of the constitution so the NLUP can't dump him.

"There haven't been any annual general meeting or special general meeting to amend the constitution on the section of the disciplinary action and I've checked with our elections office where you register the constitution and the constitution has not been amended. So I can only say that because of our strong stance on our labour laws etc. I believe there are some trade unionists behind this move."

Mr Zinck says he's likely to stand for another party at the next elections.

The New Labour Unity party says it is sending a copy of its expulsion letter to the speaker of parliament and it expects Mr Zinck to lose his seat in parliament as a result.

Under Fiji's laws, anyone expelled from their party, automatically loses their seat.