19 Jul 2003

Reaction to Fiji Supreme Court ruling from US Australia and NZ

9:25 am on 19 July 2003

The United States, Australia and New Zealand all expect Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, to implement the Supreme Court ruling on the multi-party cabinet.

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 United States ambassador to Fiji, David Lyon, says Mr Qarase has told him many times he would abide by the final court ruling and this should enable Fiji to move forward politically.

The Australian high commissioner in Suva, Susan Boyd, has echoed similar sentiments, saying this is why her government had normalised relatioins with Fiji.

But Ms Boyd says the world is watching Fiji closely and a lot of foreign aid is still on hold pending the implementation of the ruling.

New Zealand's foreign minister, Phil Goff, has welcomed Mr Qarase's committment to abide by the Supreme Court decision and says its now up to him and Labour party leader, Manendra Chaudhry to put it into effect.

Mr Goff says regardless of how individual politicians might feel about the constitution, it is paramount and must be upheld.