27 Jul 2004

Fiji Labour party wants to see portfolio list from prime minister

2:25 pm on 27 July 2004

The Fiji Labour party wants to see a full list of the portfolios that would be offered to other cabinet members before it considers joining.

The FLP's vice-president and deputy leader, Krishna Datt, says they've been offered 14 seats, but those are attached to minor portfolios which represent about 2.5 percent of the budget.

He says they don't know what cabinet posts the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, will offer to his 16 SDL party members.

Mr Datt also says the prime minister has told them that there will be two senators and an independent brought in, bringing the proposed total cabinet to 33.

He says the FLP leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, is expecting to meet Mr Qarase later this week to raise his concerns.

"Our leader intends to ask him for a full list of portfolios that he intends to allocate to his existing ministers, and to the three new ones. We'd then get a fair idea of just what their share of the existing ministries are and what the three new people will have."

Mr Datt says they will also raise the issue of the prime minister being able to stack the numbers in cabinet by drafting in extra people from the senate.

He says the Labour party will only have 14 out of the 33 posts.

The proposed cabinet would be almost half the size of the 71 member parliament.