6 Aug 2003

Fiji Labour leader to ignore today's deadline on cabinet formation

10:21 am on 6 August 2003

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says he will ignore a demand from the Prime Minister that he provide the names of MPs he wants included in a multi party Cabinet by today.

Laisenia Qarase has reportedly threatened to name the Labour MPs himself if Mr Chaudhry does not comply.

He has also said he will appoint 14, not the 17 demanded by Mr Chaudhry.

But Mr Chaudhry says many of the ministries offered are so minor it amounts to tokenism.

He says 10 of the 14 ministries have staff numbers of less than 15, with one having just a single worker.

Mr Chaudhry says he will not be providing the Prime Minister with names of prospective Ministers today.

"I have told him that the party caucus as well as the party management board will meet over the weekend to consider his offer and the developments since the judgment and I'll get back to him after that meeting"

Mahendra Chaudhry.

Mr Qarase has also rejected Mr Chaudhry's proposal for a government of national unity.

In a statement Mr Qarase says a government of national unity is not part of the constitution, nor is it an order of the Supreme Court.