8 Aug 2003

Fiji Prime Minister says he will commit to multi-ethnic cabinet on his terms

4:31 pm on 8 August 2003

In a briefing for foreign diplomats in Suva, Fiji's Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has said the Labour Party will join the multi-party cabinet on his terms.

The Fiji Sun reports that Mr Qarase says the Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry has undertaken to give him the names of party MPs he wants included in the cabinet.

Mr Qarase says he will take the names with him to the Pacific Forum summit in Auckland later this month, think about them, and make a decision on the cabinet on his return.

The Prime Minister is reported to have assured foreign diplomats that irrespective of the outcome of the multi-party talks, he will continue dialogue with Mr Chaudhry to achieve the inter-ethnic power-sharing objective of the constitution.

Mr Qarase says he is committed to promoting a multi-ethnic government by the voluntary co-operation of like-minded political parties, with a common policy platform.

Meanwhile, Mr Chaudhry will meet with the Labour caucus and management board on the issue this weekend before more talks with Mr Qarase.