14 Jul 2003

Fiji government prepares for Supreme Court ruling on multi-party cabinet

10:17 am on 14 July 2003

The Fiji government is reported to be making preparations for a multi-party cabinet if the Supreme Court ruling on the issue goes in favour of the Labour Party.

The Fiji Times quotes the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, as saying that although the government is fiercely opposed to a multi-party cabinet, preparations would have to be made regardless.

The newspaper reports that although the new cabinet would cost an extra one point five million US dollars. Mr Qarase says taxes would not be increased to meet the new costs.

But the opening of a new high commission in India, which was due to take place this month, has been put on hold pending the Supreme Court ruling.

The foreign affairs minister, Kaliopate Tavola, says now that the South Pacific Games have ended, they expect the court's decision to be announced soon.