22 Aug 2006

Fiji disside MP says national interest take precedence over party interests

9:49 am on 22 August 2006

The rift in the Fiji Labour Party is set to widen after cabinet minister and party vice president Krishna Datt said national interest must take precedence over party interests.

Fiji TV reports that Mr Datt expressed this view in a paper tabled at the FLP's national council meeting last weekend.

Mr Datt says Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry's view that party policies must be held paramount smacks of political fundamentalism that fuels confrontation without compromise for the national good.

Mr Datt says party leader Mahendra Chaudhry is advocating a confrontational approach, but national governance must be superior to individual party loyalty and the FLP must trust its ministers to speak for the party in cabinet.

He says in the context of Fiji's multi-party cabinet, Fiji's constitution is the law, not the constitutions of individual parties.

Mr Datt says the need now is for a complete overhaul of the Fiji Labour Party constitution, allowing ministers in cabinet to discuss and arrive at a consensus as well as upholding its solidarity and confidentiality.