CHAUDHRY WANTS FRESH FIJI ELECTIONS

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 7, 2001 – FijiLive)---Fiji’s elected prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, who is in the midst of a power struggle over the Fiji Labour Party leadership, today advised the interim president to dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections.

At a news conference, which ended at around 5:00 p.m., Chaudhry said he felt elections were the best way forward for the country.

Chaudhry said discussions with the interim president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, this morning were very fruitful.

Present at this morning’s discussions were Chaudhry’s People’s Coalition Government partners Ponipate Lesavua of the Party of National Unity, Poseci Bune of the VLV and Leo Smith, who represented the General Voters Party.

At the press conference, Chaudhry dismissed claims that there is a split in the Coalition. He said today’s decision was made unanimously by all members of the Coalition.

He said he would leave it up to the president to decide on the reconvening of parliament.

 

EARLY ELECTIONS UNWISE: BABA

SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 7, 2001 – FijiLive)---Chaudhry’s advice to the president to hold fresh elections is unwise, says Fiji Labour Party’s Dr. Tupeni Baba.

Baba, who held separate discussions with the president today, said: "It is unwise at this stage to go into fresh elections."

He said this is because there are various issues that need to be looked at before elections can be held.

Baba said among issues that need to be thought over are the concerns of the economy, the concerns on the interest of the indigenous Fijians and the concerns of the grievances of Indian tenants.

Baba and Adi Kuini Speed were among a second faction of the People’s Coalition Party who met with interim president Ratu Josefa Iloilo today.

The other faction of the party met with the president earlier and was represented by ousted Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, Poseci Bune, Ponipate Lesavua and Leo Smith.

For additional reports from Fijlive, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/Fijilive.

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