12 Mar 2005

Fiji moderate political parties to merge

5:48 am on 12 March 2005

Two moderate Fiji political parties have merged to fight the 2006 general election under a banner promoting multi-racialism.

Radio Fiji reports that the Fiji Democratic Party and the National Alliance Party have signed an agreement to put up a strong opposition to the ruling SDL party.

The report says with the backing of former senior civil servants and chiefs, the National Alliance of Fiji aims to unite the two major races by basing its manifesto on that of the former Alliance Party.

The former chairman of the Great Council of chiefs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, is the interim president of the merged party while an Indo-Fijian will be appointed general secretary.

The founder of the Democratic Party, Filipe Bole, says the merger of like-minded parties augurs well for national policies and peaceful co-existence.

Mr Bole says he hopes other similar parties with the same vision of a multi-racial Fiji will join up with them.