28 Nov 2003

Fiji Labour Party vice-president says Labour could still reject seats in Cabinet

11:45 am on 28 November 2003

A leading official of the Fiji Labour Party says the FLP may refuse to join the governing coalition, even if the prime minister is directed by the Supreme Court to meet the party's demand it get 17 cabinet seats.

The court has asked lawyers from both sides to prepare arguments to be heard next May over the cabinet seats impasse.

The FLP wants 17 seats based on its percentage of the vote in the last general election.

It has been offered 14.

But the vice president of the FLP, Krishna Datt, says those seats have responsibility for only two-percent of the budget.

He says if additional seats continue to carry such low levels of responsibility, the party may still refuse to join.

"There are very clear guidelines in the compact in the Constitution which virtually demand that the leadership has to be fair and equitable. And that is what this will finally hang on."