1 Aug 2005

Fiji's SVT shuns Fijian election coalition plan

1:33 pm on 1 August 2005

Fiji's SVT party says it's unlikely to join a coalition of indigenous Fijian political parties before next year's election because of the group's racial bias.

The ruling SDL party and the pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua want to join forces with the Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party, the People's National Party and the Fijian Political Party, the SVT.

But the general secretary of the SVT, Ema Druavesi, says it has so far refused to sign an agreement with the other parties because the coalition does not promote multi-racialism.

"I wanted to see from a coalition transparent and above board dealings in everything. That we should not be looking at the interests of only the Fijians but the nation as a whole. To have all the Fijians against other people is just not acceptable."

Ema Druavesi says she believes moderate and nationalist parties are too split to form a workable coalition.

The coalition is being promoted by a group of prominent indigenous Fijians headed by longtime cabinet minister and 1997 Constitution Review commissioner, Tomasi Vakatora.