17 Oct 2005

Fiji opposition parties unite to fight election

11:17 am on 17 October 2005

The Fiji Labour Party and the United People's Party, led by the former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, have agreed to form a coalition to fight the next general election.

The two parties signed a draft coalition agreement at the weekend.

Mr Beddoes says he received unanimous endorsement of the UPP's executive committee for the draft agreement.

Mr Beddoes says once the two parties have agreed on the details of the principal agreement, the two parties will be ready to sign that.

The Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has told the Sunday Sun this is step forward for both parties and their main aim now is to win the general election and form a government.

Most indigenous Fijian political parties, including the ruling SDL, have already signed an agreement to share preferences and fight the general election together to retain indigenous political control of government.

The newly established National Alliance Party, led by Ratu Epeli Ganilau, has been in talks with Labour and the UPP but has not made a final decision yet.