15 Aug 2003

Mahendra Chaudhry seeks intervention force for Fiji

10:49 am on 15 August 2003

Meanwile, Mr Chaudhry has called for a Solomon Islands style Regional Intervention Force in the country because of the impasse over the multi-party cabinet.

The Fiji Times reports that Mr Chaudhry made the call in a 12 page paper distributed at the Forum in Auckland.

Mr Chaudhry says the prime minister is trying to keep in his cabinet several individuals closely involved with the terrorism of the May 2000 coup and describes it as a grave indictment of the standards of governance currently prevalent in Fiji.

Mr Chaudhry says Mr Qarase's proposed multi-party cabinet cannot be construed as fulfilling the power-sharing obligations of the constitution and would appear to be in contempt of court.

The Labour Party leader says the Forum's declaration on regional security and governance is being used as the basis for positive intervention in Solomon Islands and he asks for no less for Fiji.

But in an editorial today, the Fiji Times says by comparing Solomon Islands with Fiji and calling for foreign intervention, Mr Chaudhry demonstrates he has completely lost the plot.

The newspaper says this latest outburst is guaranteed to further alienate him from mainstream indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian thinking.