WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Dec. 8) - The Fiji Labor Party has won the weekend by-election for the Labasa Rural Indian seat.

The Labor candidate, Labasa lawyer Mohammed Rafiq, polled over 4,300 of the first preference votes and won outright, which mean other preference votes did not have to be counted.

The National Federation Party candidate and Labasa mayor, Charan Jeath Singh, polled under 1,300, while Subrail Gounder of the ruling SDL received 525.

The Secretary of the National Federation Party, Pramod Rae, said the party had retained its basic support, but the result showed that they still had a lot of work to do.

Voter turnout was nearly 66 percent, or just over 7,200, but there were nearly 1,000 invalid votes.

The returning officer attributed the low turnout to a lot of voters moving away from Labasa because of expiring land leases.

December 8, 2003

Radio New Zealand International:


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