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No plans to head Fiji again: Chaudhry

Former Fiji PM, M Chaudhry says he does not intend to head his party in case they win the general elections.

india Updated: Apr 26, 2006 15:25 IST

Former Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has said that he does not nurse any personal ambition to become prime minister again if the Fiji Labour Party (FLP) returns to power in the upcoming general elections.

"It is not my personal ambition to be PM," the Indo-Fijian leader said.

Fiji goes to the polls from May 6 to 13. According to Fijian experts, the FLP is the frontrunner.

Chaudhry also reportedly criticised Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase for the latter's remarks that Fiji is not ready for a prime minister other than an indigenous Fijian.

"He should stop looking at whether an Indian or Fijian should be prime minister," Chaudhry said. "Fiji right now needs good governance."

The FLP had won the general election in 1987 and 2000. In 1999 Chaudhry became the first Indo-Fijian prime minister of a People's Coalition government but was ousted a year later in a coup.

Chaudhry also reportedly pointed out the racial disparity in the appointment of poll officials.

The country's election commission has appointed 3,722 indigenous Fijians, 407 Indians and 155 members from other communities as enumerators for the elections.

Indo-Fijians comprise 44 percent of the country's population of around 900,000.

He expressed concern that disparity of such a large scale could affect the outcome of the elections.

First Published: Apr 26, 2006 12:22 IST