4 Sep 2003

Labour Party office in Lautoka ransacked

10:16 am on 4 September 2003

The Fiji Labour Party office in Lautoka has been ransacked, leaving behind a trail of destruction and damage.

The Fiji Times reports that the party has described the crime as an act of intimidation.

Party files and records were destroyed as well as a picture of the Labour prime minister deposed in the 1987 military coup, Dr Timoci Bavadra.

Nothing was stolen in the trashing which Labour's Lautoka office manager, Subhash Verma, says was an attack on democracy.

Meanwhile, the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, is seeking legal advice on the refusal by 14 Labour MPs named to his multi-party cabinet to take up their appointments.

Although it is the prime minister's perogative to decide who goes into his cabinet, the 14 MPs have told Mr Qarase that the decision on who joins the government will be made by their leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.