12 Jul 2006

Fiji leaders set September deadline for multi-party cabinet rules

5:30 pm on 12 July 2006

Fiji's prime minister, opposition leader and the Labour Party leader have set a September deadline to reach agreement on the ground rules to be followed in the running of the multi-party cabinet.

This follows a meeting between Laisenia Qarase, Mick Beddoes and Mahendra Chaudhry today.

The prime minister offered a set of ground rules covering 17 pages which the three leaders considered.

Mr Chaudhry indicated that he has also prepared a set of rules which he intends to clear with the party before bringing it for discussion.

The three leaders have also agreed to meet again as soon as they have had consultations with their own political parties.

In a joint statement, Mr Qarase says the three leaders have agreed to continue talks so they can reach agreement by the end of September.