13 Jul 2006

Fiji attorney general defines FLP as government party

3:15 pm on 13 July 2006

Fiji's attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale, says the Labour Party is part of the government and not part of the opposition.

Radio Fiji quotes Mr Bale as telling the Senate that the prime minister's invitation to Labour to join the government was extended to the party as a whole, not to its individual members.

He says when Labour accepted the invitation it was the party as a whole and therefore no member can sit in the opposition.

He says once Labour accepted that invitation, it lost all its rights to call itself the opposition.

Mr Bale says it defies logic to suggest that some members of a party can sit in the cabinet while others can claim to be in opposition.

He says if the prime minister invites other members of the Labour Party to join the cabinet, they cannot refuse on the grounds that they are in opposition because they are not in opposition.

The attorney general's statement comes after repeated claims by he Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry that the party's MPs are in the opposition and should vote in parliament according to Labour's policies and stand.