17 May 2006

Qarase rules out Government of National Unity in Fiji

8:24 pm on 17 May 2006

Fiji's caretaker prime minister has ruled out a Government of National Unity after the general elections, saying he does not believe in it.

Laisenia Qarase says he does not even believe in a multi-party government but he will accept working in it because it is in the constitution.

Mr Qarase says he believes in a multi-ethnic cabinet where there is a minimum number of cabinet seats allocated to minorities.

But he says the prime minister should be allowed to negotiate this in good faith with those who are interested.

Mr Qarase says this would be better than a multi-party cabinet where the prime minister is forced to coalesce.

On the possibility of having to govern with a majority of only one in parliament, Mr Qarase says it is only a matter of how one manages the numbers.

Mr Qarase also says it will take generations to move out of the racial voting patterns seen in last week's elections.