29 Oct 2003

FIJI PM says Labour is blocking Indo-Fijian access to cabinet

11:15 am on 29 October 2003

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has blamed the Labour Party for keeping the country's ethnic Indian community out of his cabinet.

Mr Qarase also says the party is equally responsible for preventing farmers from securing 50 year leases.

The Daily Post reports the prime minister made the comments at a joint sitting of National Advisory Councils for Indo-Fijian and minority communities.

The newspaper quotes Mr Qarase as saying that if Labour continues to delay joining his cabinet after the Supreme Court's clarification, he would take it that the party has declined his invitation.

He says Labour prefers to trade on the fears and uncertainties of its supporters in a selfish bid to win votes.

Mr Qarase says this is politics the Labour way - use the voters, exploit them and keep on misleading them.