29 Jul 2003

Fiji opposition leader says cabinet should be culled not enlarged

11:10 am on 29 July 2003

The leader of the opposition in Fiji, Mick Beddoes, says the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, should be culling his cabinet and not making it bigger.

Mr Qarase has offered the Labour party 14 positions in cabinet after the Supreme Court ruled the Labour must be included.

However Mr Qarase has not demoted any current ministers saying he wants to retain loyal supporters.

Mr Beddoes says Mr Qarase is putting his party before the interests of the country and he says calls for people to be patient are just a smoke screen.

"This is an excuse because they don't know how to deal with the problem. And the reason they don't know how to deal with the problem is that they have members within the government who are not prepared to forfeit their positions, and I don't think the prime minister is confident enough of his own position to be able to create a smaller cabinet and let some of these less productive ministers go."