27 Nov 2003

Fiji Labour Party non-committal on possible coalition role

5:06 pm on 27 November 2003

A leading official of the Fiji Labour Party says the FLP may refuse to join the governing coalition, even if the prime minister is directed by the Supreme Court to meet the party's demand it get 17 cabinet seats.

The court has asked lawyers from both sides to prepare arguments to be heard next May over the cabinet seats impasse.

The FLP wants 17 seats based on its percentage of the vote in the last general election.

It has been offered 14.

But the vice president of the FLP, Krishna Datt, says those seats have responsibility for only two-percent of the budget.

He says if additional seats continue to carry such low levels of responsibility, the party may still refuse to join.

"There are very clear guidelines in the Compact in the constitution which virtually demand of the leadership that they have to be fair and credible. That's where it will finally hang on."

The vice president of the Fiji Labour Party, Krishna Datt.