5 Jul 2006

Fiji Labour leader sought chiefly backing to try and win Opposition Leader's post

7:56 am on 5 July 2006

It's been revealed in Fiji that the Labour Party's Mahendra Chaudhry tried to become opposition leader in place of Mick Beddoes using indigenous Fijian protocols.

Radio Legend reports that Mr Chaudhry had asked the high chief of Ba or Tui Ba, Ratu Sairusi Nagagavoka, to make a traditional approach to President Iloilo to appoint him opposition leader.

Ratu Sairusi has confirmed that Mr Chaudhry had sought his help because of his traditional links to President Iloilo who holds the highest chiefly title in Fiji's west - that of Tui Vuda.

Ratu Sairusi says he had approached President Iloilo on Mr Chaudhry's behalf.

He says at that time President Iloilo believed that Mr Chaudhry should be appointed opposition leader.

But after receiving legal advice on the issue, President Iloilo appointed Mick Beddoes to the position.