1 Jun 2004

Fiji Supreme court case decision on multi-party cabinet may not change anything says lawyer

12:54 pm on 1 June 2004

A prominent lawyer in Fiji says the outcome of a Supreme court case on the multi-party cabinet clause may not change anything.

Richard Naidu says even when a decision is made on the number of cabinet seats the government should offer the Labour party, the fact remains that the two leaders don't trust each other.

And, he says the multi-party cabinet clause is mired in litigation.

A second case is before the courts over whether the government negotiated in good faith when it offered Labour minor portfolios, and excluded its leader and other senior members from a possible cabinet post.

Mr Naidu says it's up to the leaders to step up to the mark and attempt to work with each other.

"Certainly, in Fiji at the moment, the individual leaders have virtually no personal relationship to speak of, they don't trust each other. And, so it's very difficult even to put ideas openly to each other. At the end of the day, it's not the courts who are going to make this work, it's not legislative amendments that's going to make it work, it's up to the leaders themselves."

Fiji lawyer, Richard Naidu.

A decision on the Supreme court case is expected shortly.