26 Jul 2005

Fiji opposition parties in pre-election coalition talks

3:24 pm on 26 July 2005

Fiji's National Alliance Party, led by Ratu Epeli Ganilau, and the United General Party led by Mick Beddoes have started discussions with the Labour Party to form a coalition ahead of next year's general election.

Ratu Epeli has confirmed that he has held informal talks on forming a coalition with the other two parties.

Ratu Epeli says he believes in inclusiveness and his party will consider a coalition with those who believe in the principles of democracy and the politics of moderation.

Mr Beddoes has also confirmed holding talks with the National Alliance and Labour which he has described

as fruitful.

Mr Beddoes says as opposition parties it makes good strategic sense for them to work together but any formal arrangements would have to be endorsed by his executive and their constituencies.

Fiji's electoral system makes a multi-party cabinet mandatory and a coalition would be necessary to form a government which complies with the constitution.