HER VICTORY IS FOR THE PARTY, ADI KUINI TELLS FIJI ASSOCIATION PARTY

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By Vasemaca Rarabici

SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 24, 1999 – Fiji Sunday Post/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Adi Kuini Speed was generous in her victory in the Fiji Islands last night as reaffirmed leader of the Fijian Association Party, the Sunday Post reports.

She won a leadership struggle against Ratu Tu'uakitau Cokanauto in a tense election in Suva which was conducted over six hours.

Adi Kuini said the victory belongs to the party and not to her, as she polled 1,323 votes to Ratu Tu'uakitau's 1,239, a margin of 84 votes.

Results were announced by party President Ratu Viliame Dreunimisimisi, who called on the two candidates to work together in the interest of the party.

Security was tight at the meeting, bristling with police and security guards.

Adi Kuini's supporters from Nadroga and Navosa traveled to Suva in 35 buses. Ratu Tu'uakitau's supporters came in force from Tailevu, Rewa, Naitasiri and Lomaiviti.

The election settles a bitter row which began on September 11, when a party faction led by Ratu Tu'uakitau ousted Adi Kuini as party leader.

Adi Kuini, who is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Fijian Affairs, took the matter to court on the ground that the meeting was unconstitutional.

The High Court ruled in her favor.

The dispute had arisen over her nominations to the Senate and her leadership style.

The faction held a subsequent meeting which elected Ratu Tu'uakitau as party leader.

The issue remained unresolved and was left to the annual meeting to decide.

Title -- 2415 POLITICS: Adi Kuini clinches narrow FAP win Date -- 24 October 1999 Byline -- Vasemaca Rarabici Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Sunday Post (Fiji), 24/10/99 Copyright – SP Status – Abridged

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