20 Sep 2005

Fiji Labour party says hurdles must be overcome before coalition achieved

8:42 pm on 20 September 2005

The Fiji Labour party says there are several hurdles to overcome before opposition parties can seriously pursue a coalition.

The party's vice-president, Krishna Datt, says Labour would prefer to pursue preferential arrangements over the listing of candidates, prior to the elections, rather than enter a formal coalition.

Under Fiji's preferential system, voters rank all the candidates and can follow party suggestions on who should be their 2nd listing, and so on.

Mr Datt says a major obstacle includes how the parties will agree to rank each others' candidates.

But, he says that's not the only issue.

"There are questions about when you have a coalition, whether you want to put your candidates in all the constituencies or would you want to leave some constituencies to some other political coalition of yours."

Mr Datt says informal discussions are continuing and if there was some way of merging policies and manifestos, a coalition might be achieved.