8 Sep 2006

Fiji minister says call to sack PM was joke

1:49 pm on 8 September 2006

Fiji's minister for public enterprises, Robin Irwin, says he does not mind being dropped from the cabinet after publicly calling for the sacking of the prime minister and the finance minister.

Radio Legend reports that Mr Irwin made the call to sack the two most senior ministers in the government after holding them responsible for the state of the economy in the north which includes his constituency.

Speaking at the Fiji Tourism Forum in Nadi, Mr Irwin said Laisenia Qarase should have been sacked for the lamentable state of affairs in Vanua Levu and Ratu Jone Kubuabola should have been sacked as well.

But Mr Irwin has now told Radio Legend that people should not take his remarks seriously as they were meant to be a joke.

He says both men are doing a good job and his remarks were only meant to make the discussion more lively and stimulating.

Mr Irwin also told the Tourism Forum that after his address he may no longer be a minister but unlike his Labour Party colleagues in cabinet, he could not be sacked from parliament because he is an independent MP.

He said he quite relishes the prospect of returning to his home town of Savusavu and going fishing.