22 Jan 2005

Fiji's New Alliance leader says nationalists' support waning

8:30 am on 22 January 2005

The leader of a major new political party emerging in Fiji claims Fijians are beginning to turn away from nationalistic policies in the country.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau, the former chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs, is heading the New Alliance Party of Fiji, which has registered just 18 months ahead of the next general election.

Ratu Epeli, who was ousted from his position last year because of his criticism of the Qarase government's policies, says his is a multi-racial party promoting stability and national unity.

"It's not a quest for power by me or the other office holders but it's a coming together of different people from all different communities in a bid to go forward as one nation."

Ratu Epeli says the party is a revival of the Alliance Party, led by the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, which governed Fiji for the first 17 years of independence.

He says he's received widespread support to spearhead the party, which will be launched within weeks.