3 Aug 2012

Conviction rules Qarase out of 2014 Fiji election

6:48 pm on 3 August 2012

A New Zealand academic says the ousted Fiji prime minister's conviction and jail term means there will be little chance of him running in the next election.

Laisenia Qarase has received a 12-month sentence for corruption-related offences dating back 20 years.

The scheduled 2014 general election will be the first since the military overthrow of Qarase's elected government in December 2006 and the SDL party leader had been expected to contest it.

But an Auckland University political scientist, Dr Steven Ratuva, says that isn't likely, for two reasons.

"One is that the Electoral Act will not allow that because if you are convicted then you won't have the privilege of parliamentary representation and secondly, given his health condition as well, it may be a lot of pressure on him."

However Dr Steven Ratuva says there is nothing stopping Qarase from remaining the SDL party leader.