19 Jul 2005

Fiji Labour Party said to have asked Conservative Alliance to join a coalition government

9:46 am on 19 July 2005

A report from Fiji claims that the Labour Party offered a blanket amnesty to members of the pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party in return for its support to form a coalition government after the 2001 general election.

The Daily Post claims that an Amnesty Bill was to be the first legislation to be introduced in parliament in the proposed Labour-led post coup government.

The report says Labour was even prepared to include the coup front man, Gorge Speight in its cabinet, even though he was then in prison.

It says the Labour MP Joeli Kalou, who died several years ago, was the broker in the negotiations between Labour and the Conservative Alliance.

His contact in the Conservative Alliance was Ratu Josefa Dimuri, now a government senator who is serving an extra-mural prison sentence for his role in the Labasa army mutiny.

The report claims the amnesty was offered to a Conservative Alliance delegation at a meeting in Suva towards the end of the 2001 general election count when it became obvious that no political party would win an outright majority to form a government.

It says Labour offered cabinet seats to all Conservative Alliance MPs who won seats in the election, including Speight and others who are now in jail.