12 Sep 2002

Fiji cabinet re-shuffled

4:17 pm on 12 September 2002

The prime minister of Fiji, Laisenia Qarase, has reshuffled his cabinet and taken on additional responsibilities.

These include culture and heritage, national reconciliation and unity, information and media relations as well as responsibility for te reform of the sugar industry.

The finance minister, Ratu Jone Kubuabola has been given the additional portfolio of communications.

The changes will come into effect on Monday.

Mr Qarase has told the Daily Post newspaper that more changes are possible once the supreme court rules on whether the Labour Party is to be given cabinet seats as stipulated in the constitution.

His government has fought the constitutional case in court for a year but says it will abide by the court ruling.

The verdict will determine whether the European Union will restore aid cut following the coup two years ago when the military appointed appointed Mr Qarase as an interim leader until he was confirmed as head of government in last year's election.