2 Jun 2003

The former Fiji Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, accuses Labour leader of working for personal benef

10:08 am on 2 June 2003

The former Fiji Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has criticised the Labour party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, saying he uses the Labour movement and poses as the nationalist Indian champion for his own personal benefit.

In an interview with the Fiji Sun newspaper, Mr Rabuka says while he believes strongly in multi-racialism, Mr Chaudhry does not.

He says if Mr Chaudhry were sincere, he would be able to work with the indigenous Fijian people.

Mr Rabuka says he lost the 1999 general election because his political opponents and Methodist Church ministers preached against the 1997 Constitution from the pulpit and in public meetings and annihilated the SVT.

On his public role, Mr Rabuka says the Qarase government has excommunicated and isolated him for fear of losing its own support base.

But Mr Rabuka says he has rallied a lot of support, particularly from the Indian community and if there is enough support from like minded people he d be willing to make a comeback.