14 Feb 2006

Fiji High Court dismisses Labour election petition

9:33 am on 14 February 2006

A High Court judge in Fiji has dismissed an election petition from the Labour Party calling for a municipal by-election.

The Daily Post repots that Justice Daniel Finnegan has also ordered the Labour Party to pay US$900 to the Ba Town Council for their legal expenses incurred in the case.

Labour filed the legal challenge after three candidates from its rival National Federation Party were elected from Yalalevu Ward during the Ba Town Council Elections last year.

In their petition, Labour lawyers Anand Singh and Rajendra Chaudhry claimed that the returning officer acted unlawfully in rejecting the late nominations from their party and called for a fresh poll.

Justice Finnegan threw out the Labour petition, saying there were no irregularities in the election process and it was conducted in accordance with the Local Government Act.

Ba mayor Praveen Bala criticised the Labour Party for wasting the ratepayers' money unnecessarily when they knew that the party was in the wrong.