26 Jul 2003

Australian Labour Party supports Labour's move to be included in Fiji government

9:29 am on 26 July 2003

The Australian Labour Party has given its full backing to its Fiji counterpart to be included in a multi-party cabinet.

The Daily Post reports that the vice-president of the New South Wales branch of the ALP, Michael Williamson, expressed his party's support at the Fiji Labour Party delegates conference in Nadi yesterday.

Mr Williamson said the Fiji Labour Party is at a critical juncture in its struggle for democracy and justice, but its cause is right and it must keep up the fight.

Meanwhile, party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the delegates conference has expressed concern that the 14 ministries offered to Labour were of little intrinsic value because they were minor parts of already existing substantive ministries.

Mr Chaudhry also says the party felt the proposed allocation was extremely unfair and insulting, and had no respect for the political mandate given to Labour by virtue of its being the second largest party in parliament.

More talks are scheduled between Mr Chaudhry and prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, on Monday.