FLP Constitution

CONSTITUTION AND RULES OF THE FIJI LABOUR PARTY (FLP)

(FLP Constitution and Rules as adopted at the 2008 Annual Delegates Conference)

1. NAME

The name of the party shall be the FIJI LABOUR PARTY (HEREINAFTER CALLED THE LABOUR PARTY).

2. HEAD OFFICE

Suva, Fiji.
P. O. Box 2162, Phone 3373317, Fax 3373173

3. PRINCIPLES AND OBJECTIVES

The Labour Party shall be based on the following democratic socialist principles: –

i) Recognition and protection of fundamental political and civil right including free and democratic elections, freedom of expression, freedom of the individual and a just legal system.

ii) Elimination of discrimination and exploitation on the grounds of class, race, sex, religion, political affiliation, age or disability.

iii) Abolition of poverty and the achievement of an equitable distribution of income, wealth and opportunities.

iv) Fostering of a national identity for the people of Fiji.

v) Proper management of Fiji’s resources and protection of the environment.

vi) Redistribution of political and economic power so that all members of society have the opportunity to participate in the shaping and control of the institutions and relationships which determine their lives.

vii) Maintenance and creation of the democratic socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange to the extent necessary to eliminate exploitation and other anti-social features in these fields.

viii) Maintenance and creation of and support for a competitive non-monopolistic sector, with particular emphasis on small-scale business, farming and operating within clear social guidelines and objectives.

ix) Recognition and encouragement of the rights of people to organise for the protection and advancement of their interests.

x) Application of democracy in industry to increase opportunities for people to work in satisfying, healthy and humane conditions and to participate in and to increase their control over the decision-making processes affecting them.

xi) Provision and maintenance, of a decent standard of living in rural communities and also maintenance of a strong link between rural and urban workers.

xii) Creation and maintenance of full and meaningful employment.

4. POLICY

The Policy of the Labour Party shall be based on matters approved by the Annual/Special Delegates Conference and shall be: –

i) Based on the principles and objectives of the Party.

ii) Contained in the manifesto issued prior to each General Election and shall be the official policy of the Party until the next manifesto is issued provided that any matter arising subsequent to an Annual/Special delegates Conference and not provided for in the existing manifesto shall be determined by the National Council.

5. MEMBERSHIP

Membership of the Labour Party is open to all residents of Fiji (including Rotuma) who accepted its principles and objectives and who have association with no other political party or organizations.

i) The party shall consist of foundation and life members, members of Branches, members of affiliates and supporters of the Party.

ii) A Branch member means any person who, not being a member of any other political party or any organization, membership of which is declared by the Party to be incompatible with membership of the Labour Party, subscribes to the Constitution and Policy of the Party and has been duly admitted and continues as a member of a Branch.

iii) An affiliated member of an industrial or other organization approved by the Party which subscribes to the Constitutional and Policy of and affiliates with the Party, provided that a person whose membership of any political organization disqualifies him/her from being a Branch member shall not permit him/her to take part in the affairs of the Party. A financial member means a person who has joined a branch under Clauses 6 (i) of the Constitution, or a person who is an affiliated member under Clauses 6 (iv) of Constitution.

iv) A supporter means any person, not being a member of any Branch or affiliate, who contributes regularly to the support of the party and wishes to be designated.

v) Life Membership may be conferred to Party members and supporters for long,loyal and/or meritorious service to the party, as determined by the Delegates Conference.

vi) Nothing contained in this Constitution shall prejudice the right of the Management Board of the Party to decline to accept into membership any group or groups. The Party shall not be obliged to give its reason for declining the membership application(s).

6. SUBSCRIPTION

i) The Annual subscription for a Party member shall be one dollar.

ii) All other monetary contributions shall be accepted and officially receipted.

iii) All contributions and subscriptions collected by the Branch officials from members and Party supporters on behalf of the Party shall be forwarded to the Head Office of the Labour Party. Such monies shall be remitted on a monthly basis.

iv) Subscriptions on behalf of affiliated organizations shall be paid annually at the rate of $1.00 per member on the membership figure claimed by that organization.

v) Subscription fees shall be due on 1st May each year and all membership records for each branch shall be prepared and forwarded to the Head Office no later than 15th May each year.

vi) Organisations joining after 1st November of each year shall pay 50 percent of the membership subscription fee for that financial year.

vii) Members of Branches and individuals who are more than three months in arrears of payment of fees set in accordance with this section of the Constitution shall be deemed unfinancial and shall not be permitted to take part in the affairs of the Party until such arrears are paid.

7. DISCIPLINE

i) Every person accepted as a member of the Party and for so long as he/she continues as a member in accordance with the Party’s Constitution and Rules (which may be amended from time to time) shall be deemed to have undertaken: –

a) To work for the interest of the Party and its members collectively in a spirit of mutual co-operation.

b) To abide by majority decisions of members and National Council within the scope of the Constitution.

c) To comply with the Rules of the Party.

d) Not to act against the stated objects and/or officially endorsed/adopted policies of the Party.

ii)

a) Any member who contravenes any of the provisions of this section (or any other rules of the Party) shall be liable for disciplinary action by the National Council.

b) Any member or official charged under the provisions of this section or appeals in accordance with the provisions of other rules of the Constitution shall be entitled to be heard in person and shall also be entitled to be heard in person and shall also be entitled to have his/her case stated by a financial member of the Party or some other person.

c) A member or an officer who has been suspended, removed form office or expelled by the National Council may, within 21 days after he/she has been notified of his/her suspension or removal, notify the Secretariat in writing of his/her intention to appeal to the next Annual or Special Conference of the Party.

d) The Chairman of such a meeting shall present the facts of the case and the member or the officer concerned shall be entitled to present his/her defence.

e) The decision of the members at such meeting shall be final and binding

f) No Party member shall institute any legal action against the Party’s stated policies and objects. Any member wishing to institute any legal action against the Party must immediately tender his/her resignation from the Party or will be deemed to have resigned upon commencement of any such legal proceedings.

8. STRUCTURES AND ORGANIZATION

The permanent constituent bodies of the Party shall be:

i) The Annual Delegates Conferences

ii) The National Council

iii) The Management Board

iv) The Secretariat

v) The Branch Committees

vi) The Women’s Wing

vii) The Youth Wing

viii) Other Bodies or committees and sub-committees set up under the authority of the National Council or Delegates Conferences shall also be regarded as duly constituted bodies.

9. DELEGATES CONFERENCE

The supreme authority of the Labour Party shall be the Annual Delegates Conference which shall meet yearly under the Chair of the National President or Vice President in the absence of the President and shall be convened by the Secretary-General in consultation with the Management Board and National Council.

i) The Annual Delegates Conference shall be held on or before 31st July each year at a time and place to be decided upon by the National Council and shall decide upon: –

a) Reports on activities as well as financial expenditure during the preceding period;

b) Proposals for activities and expenditure for the period to follow;

c) Proposals for the amendment of Party Rules and Constitution as well as other Working Rules and By-Laws made by the National Council;

d) Nominations and election of office-bearers as necessary;

e) Matters, appeals or complaints which have already been referred to or processed by other duly constituted bodies of the Party for which proper notice has been given.

ii) Remits (matters) for the Annual Conference shall be handled in the following manner: –

a) At least 4 months prior to each Annual Conferences, the Secretariat under the direction of the Management Board shall circularise all branches inviting detailed submissions for consideration at the Conference.

b) All such matters shall be received by the Management Board at least 2 months prior to the date of the Annual Conference and shall be clearly stated. Where appropriate, matters shall have supporting arguments attached.

c) The Management Board shall consolidate such matters as necessary and group them into sections. The matters for consideration shall be circulated to all branches at least 1 month prior to the Annual Conference.

d) The Management Board shall prepare a brief note on each subject indicating its relationship to existing policy, the options available to the Conference in respect of any contradictory or mutually exclusive matters and any other factual material of particular relevance.

e) The Management Board shall present its own discussion papers on policy maters for consideration by all branches of the Party and these shall be circulated at least 6 weeks prior to the Annual Conference.

10. SPECIAL DELEGATES CONFERENCE

A special Conference may be convened on the authority of the National Council.

11. REPRESENTATION

Representation at the Annual/Special delegates Conference shall be on the following basis: –

i) BRANCHES DELEGATES VOTES
a) Branches with a membership not exceeding 75 1 1
b) Branches with a membership not exceeding 200 2 2
c) Branches with a membership not exceeding 500 3 3
d) With one extra delegate and vote for each additional 500 members or part thereof 1 1

ii) Members of the National Council shall be entitled to attend Annual or Special Conference with no power to vote unless an accredited delegate.

iii) All Labour Members of Parliament shall be entitled to attend Annual or Special Conference with no power to vote unless an accredited delegate.

iv) At all Conference the quorum shall consist of at least 1/3 of delegates eligible to attend.

12. NATIONAL COUNCIL

The National Council of the Party shall be the governing body in between each Annual Delegates Conference. In accordance with the powers delegated to it by the Delegates Conference, the National Council shall formulate and implement policy. It shall also have the power to approve the formation and dissolution of branches of the Party.

The National Council of the Party shall be constituted as follows:

a) The National President of the Party who may be full-time/part time or an honorary official of the Party as the National Council may decide and shall be elected biennially by the Delegates Conference.

b) Three (3) Vice-Presidents of the Party who shall be elected biennially by the Delegates Conference. At least one of the Vice-Presidents shall be a woman.

c) Eighteen (18) representatives of the rural sector/farmers who shall be elected biennially by the delegates Conference and whose nominations shall be endorsed by their branches.

d) Thirteen (13) representatives of the urban sector/workers who shall be elected biennially by the Delegates Conference and whose nominations shall be endorsed by their branches.

e) The Secretary-General of the Party who may be full-time/part-time or an honorary official of the Party as the National Council may decide and shall be elected biennially by the Delegates Conference.

f) The Assistant Secretary-General of the Party who shall be elected biennially by the Delegates Conferences.

g) The National Treasure of the Party who shall be elected biennially by the Delegates Conference.

h) Two (2) women representatives, one of whom shall be a representative of the Women’s Wing of the Party, who shall be elected biennially by the Delegates Conference.

i) Two (2) youth representatives, one of whom shall be a representative of the Youth Wing of the Party, who shall be elected biennially by the Delegates Conference.

j) The Leader and Secretary of the Parliamentary wing of the Party shall attend all meetings of the National Council and shall have voting rights unless already accredited to the National Council in another capacity under section 12.

k) All elected Members of Parliament shall attend the meetings of the National Council but shall have no voting rights unless already accredited to the Council in another capacity under section 12.

l) Any vacancy arising between two consecutive Delegates Conference shall be filled by the National Council.

m) Any member of the National Council who fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Council shall cease to be a member, except in special circumstances acceptable to the Council.

13. COUNCIL MEETINGS

i)

a) The National President of the Party shall chair all meetings of the National Council.

b) The National Council shall meet at least twice annually.

c) Members of the National Council shall be eligible to attend any branch meeting with the right to speak but without voting power unless he/she is a financial member of that Branch.

ii) At all meetings of the National Council a quorum shall consist of at least 1/3 of its members.

iii)

a) The Secretary-General shall prepare and circulate prior to the Annual Delegates Conference a Report covering the activities of the Party during the past financial year and specifying action taken on remits referred to the National Council by the previous Conference.

b) The National Council may from time to time delegate responsibilities given to it to the Management Board.

14. MANAGEMENT BOARD

i) The Management Board shall act as the administrative arm of the National Council

The Management Board shall consist of:

a) The National President

b) The three (3) Vice-Presidents

c) The Secretary-General

d) The Assistant Secretary-General

e) The National Treasurer

f) The Parliamentary Leader shall attend all meetings of the Management Board and shall have voting rights unless already accredited to the Board under Section 14.

g) A maximum of three (3) other persons who shall be elected by the National Council.

h) Additional persons may be co-opted by the Board from time to time but they shall have no voting rights.

ii) The Management Board shall ordinarily meet at least six (6) times annually.

iii) At all meetings of the Management Board, a quorum shall consist of at least one half of its members.

iv) Any member of the Management Board who fails to attend three (3) consecutive meetings of the Board shall cease to be a member, except in special circumstances acceptable to the Board.

15. POLICY COUNCIL

The National Council shall set up a Policy Council as a Standing Committee of the National Council.

a) The Policy Council shall consist of sub-committees responsible for formulating policy covering the following areas and any others that may be determined by the National Council from time to time: the economy/development; labour and industrial relations; poverty alleviation and social policy; women; ethnic affairs; and regional and international issues.

b) The precise structure and functions of the sub-committees of the Policy Council shall be determined by the National Council to which the Policy Council will be responsible.

16. WOMEN’S WING

a) There shall be a Women’s Wing of the Party which shall be responsible to the Delegates Conference and for formulating and implementing policies specifically on women. It will also be responsible for contributing to the social and development policy of the Party.

b) The precise structure and functions of the Women’s Wing shall be determined by the National Council of the Party.

17. YOUTH WING

a) There shall be a Youth Wing of the Party which shall be responsible to the Delegates Conference and for formulating and implementing policies specifically on youth. It will also be responsible for contributing to the broad social and development policies of the Party.

b) The precise structure and functions of the Youth Wing shall be determined by the National Council of the Party.

18. BRANCHES

In accordance with Section 12 of the Constitution, the National Council may, upon application, establish Branches of the Party in any of the divisions/areas of Fiji.

19. BRANCH RULES

The following rules shall apply to all branches: –

i) The name of the Branch shall be “The …………………… Branch of the Fiji Labour Party.

ii) OBJECTS

The objects of the Branches shall be those prescribed in the Constitution of the Party. The Branch shall enforce the Constitution in all matters and observe legally the resolutions and decisions of the Annual Conference and the National Council.

iii) ORGANISATION

a) The Branch shall be responsible for the electoral organization for General and Local Government Elections as allotted to it by the National Council.

b) The Branch shall raise such amounts as may be determined from time to time by the National Council and shall remit the same as required.

c) Branches shall not, without the prior consent of the National Council, affiliate with or send delegates to any organizations not affiliated with the Fiji Labour Party.

iv) ADMISSION

The membership of any person desiring to join the Party shall be subject to confirmation at a duly constituted meeting of the Branch which shall then forward these names to the Management Board for its sanction.

Nothing contained in this constitution shall prejudice the right of the Management Board of the Party to decline to accept into membership any person(s) or group(s). The Party shall not be obliged to give its reasons for declining the membership application(s)

a) Any admission contrary to the Constitution of the Party shall be null and void.

b) Postal enrolment of the Labour Party Branch member may be permitted subject to the conditions in Rule 6.

v) MEMBERSHIP FEES

a) The Branch Treasurer shall in conjunction with the Branch Secretary be responsible for the collection of all contributions and subscriptions from members. He/she shall forward all monies collected on behalf of the Party to the Head Office of the Party. Such monies shall be remitted weekly. He/she shall notify all members in arrears. He/she shall be responsible for the safety of all monies and property of the Party placed in his/her hands and shall keep full and accurate accounts of the Party. He/she shall prepare a financial statement for each Annual meeting of the Branch and at any other time as may be required by the Branch Committee. He/she shall have the right to speak and to vote on financial matters.

b) The Branch Treasurer in consultation with the Branch secretary shall liaise with the Head Office and obtain necessary funds for branch expenses.

vi) TRANSFERS

A member of a branch coming to reside within another branch area may be granted full privileges of membership in that area on production of a clearance from the branch to which membership fees for the current year have been paid.

vii) OFFICERS

The Officers of the branch shall be the Branch President, Branch Vice President, Branch Secretary, and Branch Treasure, who shall be elected by and from members of the Branch annually.

viii) EXECUTIVE

The Executive shall consist of: –

a) The Branch President, Branch Vice President, Branch Secretary-Treasurer ex-officio (or Branch Secretary and Branch Treasurer ex-officio).

b) Five other members elected by and from the members of the Branch.

ix) VACANCIES

Vacancies shall be filled by Branch Executives.

x) MEETINGS

a) The Branch President, if present shall preside at all meetings of the branch and Executive. In the absence of the Branch President from any meeting, the Branch Vice President shall preside. In the absence of both the Branch President and the Branch Vice President the members present shall elect one of their members to chair the meeting. The Branch President shall have a deliberative vote and a casting vote.

b) Ordinary meetings of the Branch shall be held regularly, preferably at intervals of one month.

c) A special meeting may be called by: –

i) The Branch President and Branch Secretary;

ii) A resolution of an ordinary meeting;

iii) The Secretary on receipt of a requisition signed by not less than one-fourth of the members;

d) The Annual Meeting shall be shall be held before 30th May each year. Notices for such a meeting shall be circulated no later than 30th April each year. Should these requirements not be fulfilled, the Head Office shall then nominate a date for such a meeting and the Secretary-General and/or its nominated representative shall preside over such a meeting

e) Meetings shall be devoted to branch business including:

i) The raising of Finance

ii) Discussions on policy;

iii) Political, educational, social and cultural topics;

iv) Matters of local public interest.

f) Branches shall have the right to communicate with all other branches and affiliate within the Party subject to the cost being borne by the originating Branch.

xi) QUORUM

A quorum for Branch meetings shall consist of at least 1/3 of the members. A quorum for Executive shall consist of at least five members.

xii) WINDING UP

a) If a branch does not formally meet for 12 successive months and/or efforts by the Management Board have failed to revive it, the books and assets of the defunct branch shall be recovered by any person authorised by the Secretary-General.

b) Should wish to disband or go into recess the books and assets of such Branches shall be forwarded by the Branch Secretary to the Secretary General.

20. SECRET BALLOT

All elections or other matters for decision by secret ballot at the Delegates Conference of the Party shall be held under the authority of the National Council or Election Committee appointed pecifically for the purpose by the National Council. All decisions in respect of the following matters shall be taken by secret ballot: –

a) Election or dismissal of officers, including branch officers of the Party.

b) Election and dismissal of the National Council or any members therefore.

c) The alteration of the rules of the Party.

d) Dissolution of the Party.

21. ELECTION OF NATIONAL OFFICE BEARERS

The National office bearers of the Labour Party shall be elected biennially at a Delegates Conference and shall serve two years. They shall normally be elected from the delegates present at the Delegates Conference and their nomination shall be endorsed by at least three Branches. Only in exceptional circumstances may a candidate be elected in his/her absence.

i) NATIONAL PRESIDENT

a) The National President (who may be full-time of part-time as the National Council may decide) shall normally preside over all meetings, Delegates or Special Conferences as well as National Council and Management Board meetings at which he/she is present. In the case of a full-time National President, his/her terms and conditions of employment shall be determined by the Management Board and endorsed by the National Council.

b) He/she may delegate his/her authority to his/her Vice Presidents.

c) The President, or at his/her request or in his/her absence, a Vice President, shall enforce strict observance of the Rules of the Party as well as perform other work as pertains to his/her officer.

ii) VICE PRESIDENTS

a) The three (3) Vice-Presidents of the Party shall render all necessary assistance to the President.

b) In the absence of, or at the request of the Present and subject to the decision of the appropriate meetings, one of them shall be elected to carry out the duties of the President.

iii) THE SECRETARY GENERAL

a) The Secretary General shall be full-time or part-time as the National Council may decide. In the case of a full-time Secretary General his/her terms and conditions of employment shall be determined by the Management Board and endorsed by the National Council.

b) He/she shall keep full and accurate minutes of all meetings of the Management Board, the National Council and Delegates of Special Conferences.

c) He/she shall receive and answer all correspondences, summon or convene meetings and perform such other duties as the National Council or Conferences shall from time to time direct.

d) He/she shall be directly responsible to the Management Board or National Council on all matters affecting the staff of the Labour Party Secretariat.

e) In his/her presence or at his/her request, he/she may delegate some of his/her functions to the Assistant Secretary General or such other person as approved by the Management Board.

f) He/she shall prepare Activities Reports or process other Reports for submission to Delegates or Special Conferences or the National Council and perform other tasks as pertains to the office.

g) The Secretary-General shall be an ex-officio member of all Boards and duly constituted bodies of the Party.

iv) THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY GENERAL

i) The Assistant Secretary General shall assist or deputise for the Secretary General as required or in his/her absence.

ii) He/she shall perform such duties as required by the Secretary General or prescribed by the Management Board or the National Council.

v) THE NATIONAL TREASURER

a) The National Treasurer shall collect all subscription and Capitation fees payable to the Party and receive any donations or contributions made and shall pay the same into the bank approved by the National Council.

b) He/she shall keep a register of all members and affiliates giving dates of their joining or withdrawal as the case may be and shall keep all Party Books, Vouchers, Cheques and Receipt Books available for scrutiny by the Secretary General, Management Board or Auditor.

c) The account books shall be open to inspect by the authorised members of all affiliates subject to the giving of reasonable notice. Copies of audited accounts shall be sent to all the affiliated organizations.

d) The National Treasurer shall, in conjunction with either the Secretary General or the President or such other officers as approved by the National Council, sign all cheques for the withdrawal of the Party funds.

22. FUNDS AND PROPERTIES

All the funds and properties of the Labour Party shall be acquired in the name of the Party. The Secretary General and the National Treasurer shall sign all legal documents for and on behalf of the Party. These rules shall apply to the Party. These rules shall apply to the Fiji Labour Party: –

i) All money shall be acknowledged by an official receipt and as soon as practicable thereafter deposited in the banking account.

ii) All funds received in the name of the Party shall be deposited in account and that account shall be in the name of the “Fiji Labour Party”.

iii) Payments shall be made by a cheque drawn on the account and signed by the Treasurer in communication with the National President or Secretary General of the Party.

iv) Only sufficient funds should be retained in current accounts to meet the running expenses of the organization concerned.

v) The Financial Year of the Fiji Labour Party and all its constituent bodies shall commence from the first day of May in each year and terminate on the last day of April in the following year.

vi) At the end of each financial year the Treasurer of the organization concerned shall prepare a statement of receipts and payments and a balance sheet which shall be audited, as required by the constitution, before presentation to the Annual Conference.

vii) Where necessary, persons canvassing for funds for the Fiji Labour Party shall be provided with written authorization.

23. AUDITORS

i) The accounts, statement of receipt and payments and the balance sheet of the Labour Party shall be duly certified by a qualified auditor prior to presentation at the Annual conference.

ii) The accounts, statement of receipt and payments and the balance sheet of Branches shall be examined by a qualified Auditor or a competent person to be approved by the National Council of the Labour Party prior to presentation to the Annual meeting.

24. PLEDGE

All delegates to Annual Conference and other formal representative meetings of the Party shall sign a Pledge in the following form: –

“I………………………………………………………………… a delegate from ……………………………………………………………… hereby declare: –

i) I am not a member of any other political party or any organization membership of which is declared by the Party Conference or the National Council to be incompatible with membership of this Party.

ii) I accept the Constitution and Policy of the Party.

iii) I will faithfully uphold any decisions which may be made from time to time pursuant to the Constitution.

iv) I will work for and support the candidates of the party selected in accordance with the Constitution.

25. PARTY CANDIDATES

Any person accepting nomination as a Party candidate shall pay a prescribed fee as determined by the National Council and sign a pledge in the following form in the presence of not less than two financial members.

“Having been nominated as a Candidate for selection in accordance with the provisions of the constitution for the ……………………………………… I hereby accept nomination and declare: –

i) I am not a member of any political party or any organization membership of which is declared by the Party Conference or the National Council to be incompatible with membership of the Fiji Labour Party.

ii) I will wholeheartedly support the duly selected candidates of the Party.

iii) If selected as a candidate, I will not withdraw without the consent of the Party organization controlling the election.

iv) I will faithfully observe the Constitution and Policy of the Party.

v) If selected, I will vote on all questions in accordance with the Delegates or Special Conference on matters relating to Policy.

26. SELECTION OF PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATES

i) The Management Board shall at a time to be determined with the National Council call for nominations for Parliamentary candidate from all Branches in the electorates concerned.

ii) The closing date for receipt of nominations shall be not less than two months from the date of issuing of the circular which calls for nominations. However, in the case of by-elections called at short notice, or in other cases of urgency, this period may be varied.

iii) At least one month before the closing date (except for by elections, elections called at short notice or other cases of urgency when this period may be varied) all branches shall advice their members by circular and newspaper advertisements that nominations are open.

iv) Any member of the Party who has been a bona fide member to the date of the calling for nominations shall be eligible for nomination as a Parliamentary candidate and shall pay a prescribed fee in consideration for such a nomination.

v) A nomination may be accepted from a member with less than one year’s membership under exceptional circumstances.

vi) Nomination shall be on the official form supplied by the National Council and shall determine a pre-selection process in consultation with the branches that have substantial members in the electorate concerned

27. PARLIAMENTARY LEADER

The Parliamentary Leader of the Party shall be selected by the Parliamentary Caucus and shall also be the Party Leader.

28. BY-ELECTIONS

Parliamentary By-Election campaigns shall be under the control of the Head Office and the Secretary General/Parliamentary Leader and shall have the authority to levy all branches to help defray expenses incurred in by-election campaigns.

29. ELECTION PETITIONS

All matters in connection with petitions against the declarations of Returning Officers in Parliamentary Elections shall be under the full control of the National Council.

30. SUSPENSIONS

i) No application for membership from any person who is suspended from the Party shall be accepted without the prior consent of the National Council.

ii) A Branch shall have power to suspend any member of that branch who: –

a) Has been guilty of conduct calculated to bring the Party into disrepute; or

b) Had failed to comply with the terms of the Party Pledge.

Notification of such suspension and reasons fro it shall be forwarded immediately to the Management Board which shall then prepare the necessary briefing papers for consideration by the National Council. The National Council shall determine the period of suspension of any other action necessary. The Branch shall also have a right of appeal to the Delegates Conference.

iii) Upon the application of any Branch or by its own motion, the National Council may, for reasons determined sufficient by it, affirm/vary/reject the suspension of the charged person from the membership of the Party.

Such person shall be notified of the reason and be given opportunity to state his or her case before the National Council. If suspended, the said person has the right to appeal to the Annual Conference.

iv) Any communication whether verbal or in writing or otherwise made by any member or committee of organization of the Party to another member or committee of organization of the Party pursuant to or arising out of action taken under the provisions of this Constitution shall be privileged.

31. DISQUALIFICATION OF MEMBERSHIP

Any member of the Party who stands as a candidate in opposition to, and/or publicly campaigns against an official Labour candidate in all Elections and/or any political forum shall automatically cease to be a member of the Fiji Labour Party.

32. AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION AND RULES

No alternations to the Constitution and rules shall be made except by Special or Delegates onference following due notice to the Party organizations in writing at least two months before Conference.

July 9, 1993.

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO FIJI LABOUR PARTY CONSTITUTION

It is proposed that the number of rural sector/farmer representatives on the Party’s National Council be increased from 8 to 18 and that the urban sector/worker representatives be increased from 8 to 13. The purpose of this amendment is to provide more democratic representation on Council and as such to reflect the respective sizes of these two constituencies more accurately. The distribution within each (rural/urban) category is also aimed at providing representation appropriate to the population size of different areas. In addition, the spirit of the recommendation is to encourage individual branches to make every effort to nominate mixed (gender/ethnic) representatives.

PROPOSED AMENDMENT

12. NATIONAL COUNCIL

c) Eighteen (18) representatives of the rural sector/farmers who shall be selected biennially by the Delegates Conference and whose nominations shall be endorsed by their branches. The 18 representatives shall be distributed as follows: –

Tailevu 1
Serua/Namosi 1
Vanua Levu 5
Naitasiri/Nausori 1
Nagroga/Navosa 1
Nadi South 1
Nadi East 1
Lautoka South 1
Lautoka North 1
Ba North 1
Ba West 1
Ba East 1
Tavua 1
Ra 1
Total 18

d) Sixteen (16) representatives of the urban sector/workers who shall be elected biennially by the Delegates Conference and whose nominations shall be endorsed by their branches. The 16 representatives shall be distributed as follows: –

Nausori 1
Lami/Suva/Tamavua/Samabula 3
Nadi 1
Lautoka 2
Ba 2
Tavua 1
Labasa 1
Nasinu/Laucala/Nakasi 3
Nadroga/Navosa 1
Ra    1
Total 16
.