24 Jul 2006

Fiji Farmers Union backs Chaudhry in leadership tussle

2:20 pm on 24 July 2006

Fiji's National Farmers Union has backed its general secretary, Mahendra Chaudhry, in his leadership dispute with five senior members of the Labour Party.

The Daily Post quotes the union president and Ba East Indian Communal MP, Jain Kumar, as saying whatever happens they will back Mr Chaudhry.

Mr Kumar says farmers' union members are totally satisfied with Mr Chaudhry's leadership style.

He says when the Labour Party's national council meets next month to decide on disciplinary action against the five dissidents, the farmers union members who are members of the council will be fully behind Mr Chaudhry.

Labour's national council is expected to meet soon to decide on action to be taken against cabinet ministers Krishna Datt and Poseci Bune, MPs Felix Anthony and Agni Deo Singh and former senator Dr Atu Emberson-Bain.

The five dissidents say the majority on the national council is made up of farmers' union members who blindly support Mr Chaudhry.

The Labour Party president, Jokapeci Koroi, has refused to call a meeting of the party's management council where Mr Chaudhry has only minority support.

The dispute stems from a decision by the five to challenge Mr Chaudhry's nominations for appointment as senators.