21 Jul 2004

Fiji's ousted chairman of Great Council supports moves to revive Alliance Party

10:24 am on 21 July 2004

The ousted chairman of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs has backed moves to revive the multi-racial Alliance Party which governed Fiji for the first 17 years of independence until the Rabuka coups.

A Fiji TV report quotes Ratu Epeli Ganilau as saying there is a desperate need for moderate political parties in the country.

Ratu Epeli says there are many people of great potential in all the communities in Fiji who can be tapped to arrive at a very good mix.

The opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says a multiracial party like the Alliance, for which he campaigned during its rule, is the only way forward if Fiji is to progress.

Mr Beddoes says the politics of moderation led to 17 years of post-independence peace and prosperity until nationalism reared its head.

But the TV report quotes political commentators as saying it will be hard to break entrenched racial politics and voting patterns.