21 Jan 2005

Fiji's Alliance party revived as New Alliance

8:14 am on 21 January 2005

A major new political party has been registered in Fiji, just 18 months ahead of the next general election.

The New Alliance is a revival of the Alliance Party led by the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara which governed Fiji for the first 17 years of independence.

The Daily Post newspaper says the New Alliance is led by the former chairman of the Great Council of Chief, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, who was ousted from his position last year because of his criticism of the Qarase government's policies.

Ratu Epeli is quoted as saying the New Alliance is a multi-racial party aimed at reviving the legacy of Ratu Mara.

He says the New Alliance will put Fiji first for its long-term stability and national unity, and not work for self-interest.

The new party comes at a time when the ruling SDL and its coalition partner, the pro-coup Conservative Alliance, are talking of fighting the next election under one banner to ensure indigenous political control.

Fiji now has 17 registered political parties, the majority of them indigenous Fijian.