18 Aug 2005

Fiji United People's Party to woo election allies

6:37 am on 18 August 2005

The leader of Fiji's United People's Party, Mick Beddoes, will begin coalition negotiations with other political parties this week ahead of next year's general elections.

These include talks with the Fiji Labour Party and the National Alliance Party led by Ratu Epeli Ganilau.

The talks will explore various options for co-operation in the elections including the exchange of preferences under Fiji preferential voting system.

Mr Beddoes says he has already had informal talks for the exchange of preferences with the National Federation Party.

But he has ruled out any negotiations with the ruling SDL.

Mr Beddoes says by forming a grand coalition of indigenous parties, the SDL and others associated with it have demonstrated their nationalistic position which by its very nature excludes other parties.

He says the primary focus of the indigenous coalition is their own community, whereas the United People's Party is inclusive of all communities in Fiji.