Lawyer: Party suspension lawful
Lawyer Seema Chand who is representing the Registrar of Political Parties, yesterday argued that the decision to suspend the National Federation Party (NFP) was lawful.
Ms Chand said the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree 2013 also gave him the powers to suspend a political party. She highlighted this during the hearing of the case of NFP and the Registrar of Political Parties.
The party is appealing the decision of the registrar to suspend the party for a period of 30 days in February after he found that the party had breached the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree because its accounts had not been audited by an appropriately qualified accountant. The case was called before Justice Lyone Seneviratne at the High Court in Suva yesterday. The National Federation Party was represented by Jon Apted of Munro Leys. In his submissions, Mr Apted said the registrar had never consulted the party before making the decision. He said the consequences of the suspension of the party were very severe for all the appellants and National Federation Party’s Parliamentarian such as Biman Prasad were badly affected. Mr Apted also said that following the suspension of the party from February 1, this year, all three party MPs did not receive remunerations from Parliament and were not allowed in any of the committees or Parliamentary business. Justice Seneviratne will deliver his judgement on January 16 next year. Edited by Ranoba Baoa