19 Jul 2003

Fiji prime minister briefs president on next steps after Supreme Court verdict

9:25 am on 19 July 2003

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, is reported to have briefed President Iloilo on the steps he will take after the Supreme Court ruling on the multi-party case.

The court has ordered Mr Qarase to form a multi-party cabinet which includes Labour without delay, adding that it is a command of the constitution which must be obeyed.

The Fiji Times quotes government sources as saying that Mr Qarase will now consult with his cabinet colleagues and coalition partners before he meets Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.

A cabinet meeting is likely this weekend.

The government's coalition partner, the pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua Party, says it will support any decision the prime minister makes, including stepping down from cabinet to accomodate Labour.