22 Apr 2008

Newly-appointed Fiji Elections Supervisor resigns

8:42 pm on 22 April 2008

The New Zealand lawyer appointed last week as Fiji's Elections Supervisor, has resigned, saying he no longer wants the job.

This follows revelations that Dr Maurice Coughlan had been disbarred in New Zealand 16 years ago - information the Fiji Public Service Commission has said it was not made aware of.

The Chair of the Commission, Rishi Ram, says they had received an explanation from Dr Coughlan but on Tuesday decided to ask that he withdraw.

However the Commission had not got around to making that request when Dr Coughlan pulled out.

Mr Ram says they will go back to the short list initially because time is limited.

"That is what we are keeping it in mind. And if we were to re-advertise it will take another couple of months. That we would like to avoid."

Rishi Ram says the hope now is that their appointee can be at work in Fiji by early June at the latest.