FIJI'S OPPOSITION LEADER SINGH LOSES SEAT IN LATEST RULING

SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 3, 2002 - Daily Post/PINA Nius Online)---Prem Singh, who went to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) as Fiji's Opposition Leader, has lost his parliamentary seat, according to the latest court ruling.

The Court of Appeal ruled it had no jurisdiction to hear an appeal against a High Court ruling allowing inclusion of disputed votes. These disputed votes had in turn given Mr. Singh's Labour Party opponent, Krishna Prasad, the seat.

Mr. Singh went to CHOGM in Coolum as part of the Fiji delegation at the invitation of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

Mr. Qarase said before leaving for Brisbane that he had invited Mr. Singh as Opposition Leader.

At the time, Mr. Singh has obtained a stay against the High Court decision pending his appeal and was still a Member of Parliament.

Court of Appeal judges Sir Ian Barker and Daryl Davies ruled that High Court judge Anthony Gates made his decision as the Court of Disputed Returns. No appeal against this was possible, they said.

Mr. Singh said he now plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/FijiLive.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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