8 Jul 2004

Verdict due in Fiji multi party case

10:34 am on 8 July 2004

The Fiji Supreme Court's judgment on the number of seats the Labour Party is entitled to in a multi-party cabinet will be released tomorrow.

The Supreme Court heard the case in May and the chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, will deliver its ruling tomorrow morning.

The case stems from the prime minister Laisenia Qarase's offer of 14 seats in an expanded 36-seat cabinet after the Supreme court ordered him to form a multi-party government as required by the constitution.

But the Labour Party said it was entitled to 17 seats in such a cabinet according to the proportionality clauses in the constitution.

Labour has another case pending in the courts in which it has accused Mr Qarase of not negotiating in good faith because the portfolios offered were minor and he left out senior Labour MPs including its leader from the proposed enlarged cabinet.