13 Mar 2003

Fiji opposition leader says Mahendra Chaudhry should take over that role

11:47 am on 13 March 2003

Fiji's opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says the Labour Party should stop fooling the people that it is part of the government.

Mr Beddoes says the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, should take over the position of Opposition leader and leave the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, to get on with the government.

Mr Beddoes made the comment after Labour forced its MP, Poseci Bune, to the chair of parliament's public accounts committee, claiming the previous holder and opposition MP Ofa Duncan, was part of the government.

Mr Beddoes says by taking up the chair which is traditionally held by an opposition MP, Labour has conceded that they are the opposition in parliament.

He says this development would provide the ruling SDL party with all the justification it needs to ignore the Supreme Court's ruling in June and continue without Labour in the cabinet.

The opposition leader is challenging the legality of Mr Bune's appointment by the Speaker and the secretary general to parliament, saying they did not consult him as required under Standing Orders.

Mr Beddoes says he is seeking legal advice on the issue and as long as he is opposition leader, he will pursue whoever does wrong without exception.