23 May 2006

Fiji's prime minister welcomes formation of first multi-party cabinet

8:19 pm on 23 May 2006

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has welcomed the formation of a multi-party cabinet, saying it is a victory for constitutional law.

Mr Qarase says their effort to form a multi-party cabinet was not just meant to fulfill the requirements of the constitution.

He says the people of Fiji expected the two major political parties to agree to work together.

Mr Qarase has also defended his decision to form a large government which will have 12 ministers of state in addition to the 24 cabinet ministers.

Radio Legend quotes him as saying he had to fulfill a number of requirements.

A senior Labour MP who will be joining the cabinet as the minister for labour, Krishna Datt, says it is historic day for the party and a great opportunity for Fiji.

Mr Datt says all the ministers appointed by the prime minister will have to work together to set the precedent for future generations though the multi-partycabinet.

Mr Datt adds that his job will be to ensure that it works because he was one of the architects of the 1997 Constitution.

The Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says a majority of his party caucus wanted to join the multi-party cabinet and he respected that decision.

The Labour ministers will be sworn in at 11.00 o'clock tomorrow morning.