23 Jun 2006

Party comes before coalition agreement - says Labour party leader

11:36 am on 23 June 2006

The head of Fiji's Labour party says his party comes before the new coalition agreement with the Prime Minister's SDL party.

Mahendra Chaudhry made the comment after one of his senior MP's, Krishna Datt, pledged to ensure that the multi-party cabinet arrangement survives for its full five year term.

Mr Datt has said he will put the interests of the country first when it comes to taking a stand on major issues in parliament.

But Mr Chaudhry is insisting that all Labour cabinet ministers vote along party lines.

He says his ministers should not give up their views and rights for the SDL.

"It is not a multi-party cabinet at any cost, it's not going to be at the cost of the Labour party. And the party is supreme, not individuals. What the party machinery decides, prevails."

Mr Chaudhry says the Labour MPs in cabinet are expected to support the party's policies on major issues that Labour campaigned and was elected on.