8 Sep 2004

Rabuka quits Fiji's SVT, turns down Washington posting

1:27 pm on 8 September 2004

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has resigned as president of the Fijian Political party, the SVT, which he helped found in 1992 and which held government until 1999.

The Fiji Times quotes Mr Rabuka as saying he cannot persuade members to join the indigenous political mainstream represented by the ruling SDL and its coalition partner, the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua Party.

Mr Rabuka says he has failed to bring the party to a bigger coalition so he decided to resign.

He says he would also turn down the offer of a diplomatic posting as ambassador to the United States because it might embarrass the government, whether he is accepted or rejected.

But Mr Rabuka says he would be willing to work with whoever is working for indigenous rights and that would be the SDL-led government.