22 Nov 2004

Fiji Labour party could lose votes says critic over preference list

4:20 pm on 22 November 2004

Fiji's National Federation party says the Labour party should expect to lose voter support after it listed a coup convict ahead of several others in next month's by-election.

The NFP's general-secretary, Pramod Rae, says the Labour party is being politically expedient in listing two of its own candidates and following those up with Josefa Savua from the pro-coup Conservative Alliance party.

Mr Rae says Labour could have chosen either an independent or an SDL candidate in preference for the North East Fijian communal constituency.

But, he says instead they listed Savua who led a group of army reservists into parliament to support the coup against the Labour party.

"It seems that they are looking at prime minister Qarase's SDL government as the enemy and forgetting that their real enemy is the Conservative Alliance. They could have put the SDL candidate ahead of the Conservative Alliance, particularly in view of the ongoing discussions between them to form a multi-party cabinet government."

Mr Rae says the NFP is not standing a candidate in the by-election but felt they had to speak out over the Labour party's unprincipled stand.