1 Aug 2005

Indigenous Fijian parties form grand coalition

8:46 am on 1 August 2005

Five indigenous Fijian political parties have signed an agreement forming a grand coalition ahead of next year's general election.

The five parties are the ruling SDL and pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua, the Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party, the People's National Party and the Fijian Political Party, the SVT.

They have been brought together by a group of prominent indigenous Fijians known as the Fijian Initiative Group chaired by longtime cabinet minister and 1997 Constitution Review commissioner, Tomasi Vakatora.

Mr Vakatora says the grand coalition of Fijian parties is not about political dominance but about political stability.

He says in the memorandum of agreement signed at the weekend, the five parties have agreed to share preferences in the 2006 general election and form a coalition government after that.

Mr Vakatora says it was difficult to get moderate and nationalist parties together but they did so in the interests of a stable government after the election.