Electoral fraud inquiry claims Qld Deputy Premier Elder

Queensland's Deputy Premier, Jim Elder, has resigned from Cabinet after the state's Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) requested an interview with him as part of its investigations into electoral fraud.

Mr Elder says he has been informed by the CJC that there have been issues raised involving his family.


MULTIMEDIA

Audio Queensland's Deptuy Premier Jim Elder has resigned after being embroiled in the investigation into electoral fraud. Mark Colvin speaks with Ian Townsend.



Mr Elder held back tears as he announced his resignation from the Ministry late this afternoon.

Mr Elder, who now becomes a Labor backbencher, has not given any details of what matters the CJC wants to talk to him about.

However he says he accepts responsibility for his actions.

"I've been willing to assist in this inquiry throughout and I know that the Government will continue to get on with the great work for the people of Queensland in my absence," he aid.

"As with any inquiry, you would understand, I am unable to comment any further on the matter but just as I've come to you today, then I'll be only too willing to update you on these issues when I'm able to.

"This Government has always set the highest standards and therefore the highest price needs to be paid.

"I accept responsibility for my actions and I will deal with them as a matter of course."

Premier Peter Beattie, who is on a trade mission in Japan, says his Deputy has paid a high price for matters that allegedly happened many years ago.

The state Opposition says the Government is now in crisis and has demanded the Premier return from Japan, recall Parliament and explain what is going on.

"We were aware that the Deputy Premier had not left the country, as he indicated he was to do last weekend, but the official excuse apparently was that he'd come down with a virus but obviously this is a major setback for the Beattie Government and it raises very serious questions as to whether the Labor Party will survive the Shepherdson Inquiry," he said.

Mr Elder will remain in Parliament as a backbencher.

This Bulletin: Wed, Nov 22 2000 10:44 PM AEDT


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2000/11/item20001122210117_1.htm
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Queensland Parliamentary inquiry into preventing Electoral Fraud, found on the WWW on 12 Aug 01, is at http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Comdocs/LegalRev/LCAR028.pdf

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