9 Jun 2015

Fiji's AG suggests law change after election ruling

6:25 am on 9 June 2015

Fiji's Attorney General has suggested a law change may be necessary after a court dismissed his election petition against an opposition MP.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the decision around the eligibility of candidates sets an unfortunate precedent and has the potential to compromise the neutrality of office.

The High Court decision alllows Sodelpa's Mikaele Leawere to take up the seat of Ratu Viliame Tagivetaua who died in office.

Mr Leawere had returned to his unionist job after failing to get elected last September.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum had argued it was against electoral rules which disallow those in public office from becoming MPs.

He says the decision creates a revolving door allowing politicians to contest elections then return to public office if they fail.

He says this conflict of interest needs to be avoided given Fiji's electoral system no longer allows for a by-election in the event of a vacancy.

Finance Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, announces Fiji's 2014-15 budget

Fiji's Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Photo: Supplied