21 Feb 2005

Rabuka calls on main Fiji political parties to drop the controversial multi-party cabinet provisions

4:33 pm on 21 February 2005

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says the ruling SDL government and the opposition Labour Party should co-operate and remove the multi-party cabinet provisions of the 1997 Constitution.

Mr Rabuka was largely responsible for having the 1997 Constitution passed unanimously in both houses of parliament and the Great Council of chiefs.

In an interview published in the Fiji Sun, Mr Rabuka says he knew the multi-party cabinet could work when he allowed it to be included in the 1997 Constitution.

He says he can still work with the multi-party cabinet now.

But Mr Rabuka says when Labour was in government and later the SDL, both found they could not work with it.

He says they should co-operate and have it repealed.

The Labour government did not include the SVT in cabinet when it came into power in 1999 although Mr Rabuka's party was entitled to be in it.

After the 2001 general elections, there were three years of court battles between Labour and the SDL until Labour decided to become the opposition late last year.