21 Aug 2003

Fiji lawyer says no quick resolution in sight in cabinet stand-off

4:43 pm on 21 August 2003

A Fiji lawyer, Richard Naidu, says it appears difficult to get a quick resolution to the two-year stand-off over the make-up of the cabinet to make the government constitutional.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and the Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, are to meet again next week to work through their disagreements on the matter.

Mr Qarase has set an ultimatum for Mr Chaudhry to present a list of MPs to be included in the cabinet but Mr Chaudhry is defying the conditions.

Mr Naidu says last month's Supreme Court ruling on their dispute cannot force a resolution.

"It seems that the continued distrust between the two parties doesn't engender good faith; neither believes the other is acting in good faith, so you just continue to have this position-taking, and we're not making any progress accordingly."