2 Aug 2005

Fiji PM says racial politics are part of the country's society

9:47 am on 2 August 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says racial politics is part of the country's society and cannot be ignored.

Radio Legend reports that Mr Qarase's comment follows criticism by the Labour and National Federation parties of the formation of a grand coalition of indigenous Fijian parties including the SDL, the Conservative Alliance and the nationalists.

Mr Qarase says the unification of the Fijian parties is essential to secure the nation's future because it was the split in Fijian votes in past elections which caused Fiji's problems.

He says "race is part of Fiji's politics and if Mr Chaudhry believes it is not, then he is quite wrong."

Mr Qarase says he is "surprised that Mr Chaudhry cannot understand that."

Mr Qarase says the Fijian parties will also hold talks with the Indo-Fijian dominated parties once they have firmed up their own coalition.

Mr Qarase says these negative comments coming from the Labour and National Federation parties will not do any good for Fiji.