14 Sep 2005

Fiji PM rejects concession on reconciliation bill in planned pre-election talks

4:12 pm on 14 September 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has rejected any withdrawal of his Reconciliation and Unity Bill in return for the sharing of preferences in the 2006 general election.

Radio Legend reports that the National Federation Party wanted the government to withdraw the Bill's amnesty provisions in return for its preference votes next year.

The NFP's president, Raman Pratap Singh, had said party executives would discuss this with Mr Qarase when the two sides meet to talk about preference sharing and other election issues.

But Mr Qarase says the NFP cannot demand the withdrawal of the amnesty provisions in return for its preferences.

Mr Qarase says the Bill is a separate issue and the meeting he will have with the NFP later this month will only focus on preference sharing.

He says he does not think it is right to come with pre-conditions in talks on political issues.