16 Mar 2004

Fiji government faces further court action over multi-party cabinet impasse

4:18 pm on 16 March 2004

The Fiji government is facing further court action from the Fiji Labour party over the multi-party cabinet impasse.

The FLP's chief of staff, Shailendra Raju, says they've filed a case in the high court that the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, did not demonstrate good faith during negotiations over the multi-party cabinet.

A case is currently before the Supreme court to determine the number of seats which should be allocated to the Labour party, which claims 17 but was offered 14 by the government.

Mr Raju says they've sought advice from two highly-regarded lawyers.

"They are of the view that this case has merit - the invitation of the prime minister in terms of the cabinet portfolios he has offered, fall short of a demonstration of good faith, as required by the constitution."

Mr Raju says not only were they minor ministerial positions that were offered but the FLP leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, was not included in the list for cabinet posts.