15 Nov 2006

Fiji Labour leader still considering offer of deputy prime minister's job

9:44 am on 15 November 2006

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, may yet become the deputy prime minister in the Qarase government.

Mr Chaudhry has told local media that he has not rejected the offer, they are still talking and he is still considering it.

He says he has told the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, that he had made it difficult for him to accept the offer by imposing Value Added Tax (VAT) on the poor people.

Mr Chaudhry says the government has a record of pampering the rich and penalizing the poor.

The Labour leader says he would only go into the government once certain things are clearly understood and they sort out their policy differences first.

Mr Chaudhry says the deputy prime minister's job does not mean much to him but what is important is to serve the people in the right way without greed for office or greed for money.

Mr Qarase has declined to comment on his offer, saying only that the discussion is confidential to him.