23 May 2006

Fiji cabinet sworn in

12:45 pm on 23 May 2006

14 cabinet ministers and 12 ministers of state have been sworn into the new Fiji administration formed after this month's general election.

The nine Fiji Labour Party MPs offered cabinet portfolios in a new multi-party cabinet boycotted the swearing in at Government House to attend an emergency meeting of their caucus.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase has retained many of his senior ministers but he has also made some significant changes.

Kaliopate Tavola, who did not contest the elections and is no longer an elected MP, retains his former portfolio of foreign elations and external trade through a Senate appointment.

Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu is the minister for Fijian affairs, lands and mineral resources.

Ratu Jone Kubuabola retains the finance portfolio but George Shiu Raj has been moved from multi-ethnic affairs to take over as the minister for women, social welfare and poverty alleviation.

Josefa Vosanibola retains his former responsibility for home affairs and immigration while the new independent MP, Robin Irwin, is the minister for public utilities and infrastructure development.

Among the ministers of state are Adi Asenana Caucau, Rajesh Singh and the new MP for Rotuma, George Konrote.