21 Mar 2012

SDL Party leaves options open in Fiji constitution debate

3:50 pm on 21 March 2012

Leader of Fiji's SDL Party and ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase says the party has yet to decide whether it will take part in consultations on the new constitution.

Senior executives of the party held their first formal meeting on Monday to determine their position and possible strategies..

The police allowed the meeting after initially denying the party a permit adding fuel to debate over whether the regime will honour its promise of an inclusive debate on the constitution.

Mr Qarase says Monday's gathering was the first meeting since the abrogation of the constitution and the enforcement of emergency law in 2009 but the real test is yet to come.


It's a bit too early to say as to whether the process is going to be pretty good as we've experienced in the first instance. It was a small meeting. It remains to be seen what will happen if we ask for a much bigger meeting, say a public meeting.

SDL party leader Laisenia Qarase says decisions on the new constitution will be made at the next meeting but the party wants to play a positive role.