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120 Indians in Fiji poll fray

Of these, 80 will be contesting 19 Indian communal seats, reserved for the Indo-Fijian community.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 11:01 IST

There are as many as 120 Indo-Fijian candidates representing different parties in the general election in Fiji scheduled to be held from May 6 to 13.

Of these, 80 will be contesting 19 Indian "communal seats" -- seats that are reserved exclusively for the Indo-Fijian community.

The House of Representatives in Fiji's bicameral parliament has 71 seats.

Twenty-five of these are "open" to which the candidates are elected by universal suffrage.

The rest 46 are reserved for Fiji's various ethnic communities, including three that are called General Electors and reserved for Europeans, Chinese and other minority communities.

The rest of the Indo-Fijian candidates are contesting open seats.

Mahendra Chaudhry, a former prime minister and leader of the Fiji Labour Party, will be running for the Ba open seat, which will see an eight-sided contest.

Indo-Fijians comprise around 44 per cent of Fiji's population of nearly nine million.