30 Nov 2006

Fate of Fiji's government coalition still unclear with ministers facing the sack

9:42 pm on 30 November 2006

The future of Fiji's fragile coalition government remains unclear as negotiations continue over four cabinet ministers facing the sack.

The multi party cabinet looked set to implode last week with the four Labour MPs facing dismissal for opposing the government's Budget.

The Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, later met the Prime Minister to try to persuade him to let them keep their cabinet jobs.

The move came after Laisenia Qarase issued them with an ultimatum to resign or face dismissal for putting their party before their collective responsibility to the multi party cabinet.

One of the four, Energy Minister Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi, says it's unclear what their fate is.

"I think there has been some progress in the negotiations of the multi party cabinet and as I said we are yet to be informed of the outcome of the two leaders negotiations."

The four had earlier said they wouldn't resign, because they'd done nothing wrong.

They voted against the budget largely because the government raised Value Added Tax on essential goods from 12.5 to 15 per cent.