11 Apr 2005

Fiji's ruling SDL party plays down coalition rift reports

7:18 pm on 11 April 2005

Fiji's ruling SDL party has played down reports that a rift is emerging between it and its junior coalition partner, the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party.

Reports of a rift surfaced last week after the CMV MP Manasa Tuqia refused the lands portfolio vacated by the jailed minister, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.

But the National Director of the SDL party, Jale Baba, says that Mr Tuqia's actions reflect a personal bias rather than a party stance, and that nothing has changed in the coalition relationship.

Mr Baba says the SDL party invited the CMV to join its government on the basis of accepting SDL's platform as the guiding principles for government.

"Some parties have made it out to be that we had agreements that were giong to secure freedom for those who have been implicated or charged. There's no truth at all in that matter, and nothing has changed on the horizon that would make either party question the basis for our relationship."

National Director of the SDL party, Jale Baba.