18 Aug 2003

Fiji Labour Party rejects allegations over multi-party cabinet

4:27 pm on 18 August 2003

The president of the Fiji Labour Party, Jokapeci Koroi, is rejecting allegations that they are using diversions and delays over the formation of the multi-party cabinet.

She says criticism from the minister of information, Simione Kaitani, that Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, is refusing to provide a list of names, is incorrect.

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

But, Mrs Koroi says the Labour party still hasn't been allocated its proper number of seats in cabinet and it's unwilling to accept crumbs for portfolios.

And, she says there wasn't a time limit set by the court on the discussions.

"The supreme court did not put a time limit it only says to try and do it as soon as they can, immediately but then again if we agree to what they are telling us. Now we are not actually following the constitution the way it should be followed they shouldn't set any condition on our coming in and that's exactly what they are doing."

Mrs Koroi says talks between the two leaders are expected to resume next week.

Under the constitution, the government must offer cabinet positions to any party which gains ten percent of the vote.