7 Apr 2004

Fiji's prime minister denies split in governing coalition

2:11 pm on 7 April 2004

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has denied reports that there is a split in his governing coalition with the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party.

Radio Fiji says Mr Qarase told journalists in Auckland that their relationship is very strong.

Mr Qarase says within a family there are likely to be differences here and there, and that happens within the coalition government.

But, he says they try and resolve them and there is nothing serious.

A report this week said the Conservative Alliance did not agree with the allocation of development assistance because the government's affirmative action programmes were not reaching needy indigenous Fijians.

An unnamed member of the party was also quoted as saying the Conservative Alliance was concerned about the large number of scams which have appeared since the government took office, all of which would affect the outcome of the next general election.