29 Nov 2006

Fiji Labour Party expels five of its members

10:00 am on 29 November 2006

The Fiji Labour Party's national council has expelled five of its members including two cabinet ministers in the multi-party government.

They are ministers Krishna Datt and Poseci Bune, former Senator Dr Atu Emberson-Bain, former MP Vijay Singh and Vuda branch president Prem Chand who were all absent from the national council meeting yesterday.

They were expelled because they challenged Mahendra Chaudhry's leadership of the Labour Party soon after the May general election over his nominations to the Senate.

Mr Chaudhry says all five will be given 21 days to appeal.

Two other MPs who were summoned to the national council meeting over the same issue, Felix Anthony and Agni Deo Singh, presented their case and no action was taken against them.

If the expulsions go through and are upheld by the Speaker of parliament, Pita Nacuva, Mr Datt and Mr Bune will lose their parliamentary seats and their cabinet positions.

But the two are widely expected to challenge the expulsions in the High Court.