12 Jul 2004

Fiji prime minister rules out negotiations over multi-party cabinet

9:16 am on 12 July 2004

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says there will be no more negotiations on a multi-party cabinet.

The Daily Post quotes Mr Qarase as saying the invitation to the Fiji Labour Party to join the cabinet still stands.

But there will be no more negotiations because he has already done what the courts require him to do.

Mr Qarase says it is now up to Mr Chaudhry to decide whether Labour will take up the cabinet positions offered or not.

The prime minister says he will continue with his present cabinet if Labour chooses to stay out.

At the weekend, Mr Chaudhry called on Mr Qarase to dismantle his cabinet and negotiate in good faith.

He said the 36-member cabinet proposed by Mr Qarase was too burdensome for the taxpayers and 18 members would be more affordable and workable.