15 Jun 2006

Fiji FLP minister firm on coalition woes

5:21 pm on 15 June 2006

An outspoken Labour Party cabinet minister in Fiji is standing by his comments that the power sharing arrangements between his party and the ruling SDL party could fail.

The minister for energy, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, has told parliament that Labour could withdraw from the multi-party cabinet if the SDL pushes ahead with controversial legislation such as the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Mr Vayeshnoi's views are at odds with his fellow FLP ministers, who have said that any issues arising between the parties will be resolved through dialogue.

He says he stands by the party's policies, represents his party in cabinet and believes in speaking his mind.

"I have spoken my mind, I had said what my party policies are, and I stand by my comments."

Mr Vayeshnoi has also said that although he was in the multi-party cabinet, he stood by his leader Mahendra Chaudhry's views that the government should put all contentious bills on hold.