26 Jul 2005

Fiji's Labour party confirms coalition talks

3:30 pm on 26 July 2005

Fiji's Labour party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says they are pursuing the possibility of forming a coalition with two other parties.

He says the informal talks they've held with the National Alliance party, led by Ratu Epeli, and Mick Beddoes' United General party will be followed up after Labour holds its annual conference this weekend.

Mr Chaudhry says it's better to form a coalition prior to next year's general elections than attempt to do so afterwards.

"The way that the parliament or political parties are structured here, it's very difficult for a single party to obtain a majority to govern. Asides from that, the constitution provides for power sharing so any party which wins ten percent of the seats, is also entitled to be represented in the cabinet, so a coalition is inevitable."

Mr Chaudhry says a coalition can provide a participatory and inclusive government.