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Defendants want Waqavonovono case dismissed


Jul 28, 2014 12:08:34 PM

Defendants want Waqavonovono case dismissed The defendants in the case of National Federation Party candidate nominee Makereta Waqavonovono who had applied for constitutional redress on her eligibility to contest the forthcoming September 17 elections want the case dismissed.

The state had submitted the case should be dismissed because the court had no jurisdiction over the case as the writ of election has not been issued. The defendant also argued that the window for candidate nomination is yet to be opened and that a decision on her eligibility should first be decided by the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections.

Both parties appeared before High Court Judge Justice Kamal Kumar today. Waqavonovono was represented by Tupou Draunidalo.

Draunidalo said her client was not challenging the Electoral Decree or the 2013 Constitution, but to gauge the court's interpretation of the phrase "ordinarily resident" as set out in the Section 23 of the Electoral Decree 2014.

Waqavonovono believes she is eligible to stand as a candidate for NFP in the general election in September but may be disqualified under the particular section which states a person is eligible to be nominated as a candidate for election to parliament only if the person is ordinarily resident in Fiji for at least two years immediately before being nominated.

The decree further stated that a person is deemed to be ordinarily resident in Fiji if that person has been out of Fiji for official Government business or duties or has been holding an official Government position.

Waqavovono is believed to have been in Australia in 2013 doing her Masters in Law.

She has till 4pm today to file written submission. The court has also given the defendants till 12 midday tomorrow to respond.

The court's ruling will be delivered on notice.


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