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SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 12, 1999 – Fiji Village News)---The Fijian Association Party has a new leader.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Fijian Affairs, Adi Kuini Vunikaba Speed, was voted out in an emergency meeting held earlier today.

In a lengthy emergency meeting held at the party's parliamentary office, the National Executive Council agreed to a vote of no confidence.

The council unanimously appointed Bau Chief Ratu Tua‘kitau Cokanauto to take over as party leader.

The decision, according to Ratu Cokanauto, was based purely on performance.

On claims that the meeting was an illegal one, the new party leader said 12 members of the National Executive Council were present at the meeting and the others supported the decision.

Ratu Tuakitau said the change in leadership within the Fijian Association Party will not affect Adi Kuini's Ministerial portfolio or her position as Deputy Prime Minister because those were decisions made by the Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry.

For additional reports from Fiji Village News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Fiji Village News).


Saturday, September 11, 1999

SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 11, 1999 – Fiji Broadcasting Corporation)---A decision by the Fijian Association Party's (FAP) National Executive Council to elect a new leader has caused what appears to be a split within the party.

Today's extraordinary meeting of FAP executives unanimously elected parliamentarian Ratu Tu'akitau Cokanauto as party leader, replacing Deputy Prime Minister Adi Kuini Speed.

Adi Kuini was not present at the meeting.

Ratu Tu'akitau said the main reason behind the change in leadership is her lack on consultation within the party.

"If it’s a multi-party Cabinet, one of the unwritten rules is greater consultation in parties on national issues and especially in addressing the more sensitive issues.

"Consultation is first and foremost under the existing system of multi-party government, and we just wish to continue with that. And that is what we wish to promote under our new leadership because it has been frustrating elected members due to a lack of consultation. One cannot act unilaterally when it comes to party interest," said Cokanauto.

Meanwhile, Adi Kuini said today's meeting of FAP executives is un-constitutional and illegal.

In a statement, relayed by her husband, Clive Speed, she said there is no provision in the Party's constitution for a special extraordinary meeting.

Adi Kuini said members of the national executives' council need to be given one-week’s notice of the meeting and the papers on the issues that will be discussed.

She said she only received a one-day notice of today's meeting, adding that papers sent to her about the meeting only mentioned the issues of FAP's senate nominees.

Adi Kuini said in the statement that there was no mention of a vote on leadership.

However, she said a meeting is expected to he held as scheduled next Wednesday.

For additional reports from The Fiji Broadcasting Commission, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources/Fiji Live.


By Akanisi Motufaga

SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 12, 1999 – Fiji Sunday Times/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Some executives of the Fijian Association Party yesterday ousted Fiji's Deputy Prime Minister Adi Kuini Speed as party leader because of differences over the party's nominees for Senate, the Sunday Times reports.

The meeting, which the executives said was a special extraordinary meeting that did not require the normal seven-day notice, resolved that:

* Bau chief Ratu Tu'akitau Cokanauto replace Adi Kuini after 12 executives (out of 19) passed a vote of no confidence against her; and

* Ratu Viliame Dreunimisimisi, Viliame Saulekaleka Tunidau, Sam Matawalu, Semi Seruvakula and Ratu Inoke Takiveikata be nominated to the Senate.

However, a written statement from Adi Kuini described the meeting as illegal because there are no provisions for an extraordinary meeting in the FAP constitution or were any of the four cabinet ministers present.

She pointed out that notice for the meeting was only issued a day before, contravening the seven-day notice requirement under the party constitution.

And she questioned Ratu Esira Rabonu's decision to convene the meeting in his capacity as deputy leader because no such post existed under the party’s constitution.

Title -- 2359 POLITICS: FAP faction 'ousts' Fiji's Deputy PM Date -- 12 September 1999 Byline -- Akanisi Motufaga

Origin -- Pasifik Nius

Source -- Sunday Times (Fiji), 12/9/99

Copyright – ST

Status -- Unabridged

This document is for educational and research use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting.

PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius:

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