18 Aug 2003

Fiji Information minister criticises Chaudhry letter to PM

10:35 am on 18 August 2003

Fiji's information minister has sharply criticised the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, for his statements against the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, on the formation of a multi-party cabinet.

In a letter to Mr Qarase, Mr Chaudhry has accused him of being dishonest and not negotiating in good faith.

The Fiji Times quotes Mr Kaitani as saying Mr Chaudhry keeps bringing new issues and diversions instead of providing Mr Qarase with a list of names.

Mr Kaitani says a multi-party cabinet was to have been announced today but was postponed at Mr Chaudhry's request until after his return from an ILO meeting in Bangkok.

Mr Kaitani says Mr Chaudhry's efforts to drag out the issue leave him in contempt of court.

Meanwhile, the National Federation Party has also condemned Mr Chaudhry for releasing a document at the Pacific Forum summit calling for a Solomon Islands-style regional Intervention Force in the country because of the impasse.

The NFP leader, Prem Singh, says Mr Chaudhry's attempt to drag in the Forum is unnecessary and ill-conceived because the solutions to Fiji's problems lie in the country and not abroad or in foreign intervention.