16 Jun 2006

Fiji's PM says the Labour Party cannot dictate terms

8:36 am on 16 June 2006

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says the Labour Party cannot set conditions and dictate terms in the multi-party cabinet.

Mr Qarase has told Radio Legend that the FLP should realize that it is now part of the cabinet and collective decisions should be made in cabinet after consultations.

He says with a multi-party cabinet in place, there is a Labour input in its decision making.

Mr Qarase says that the FLP also cannot stop the affirmative action programmes for indigenous Fijians and Rotumans because they have been approved by cabinet and parliament.

The prime minister's clarification follows statements by the Labour Party minister for energy, Lekh Ram Vyashnoi, that Labour MPs were elected on their party's manifesto and were in cabinet to implement them.

Mr Vyashnoi also says he will continue attacking government policies publicly despite Mr Qarase's call on him to stop acting like the opposition.

Yesterday, the deputy leader of the Fiji Labour Party and minister for the environment, Poseci Bune, said Mr Vyashnoi's public attacks on the government reflect the views of the party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.