17 Feb 2006

Merging coalition partners told to consider all people of Fiji if they are returned as government

2:31 pm on 17 February 2006

A former Fiji prime minister says that uniting indigenous Fijian political parties is good for the country, as long as it doesn't promote hardline nationalism.

Sitiveni Rabuka made the comment in response to the planned merger today of the ruling SDL party and its junior coalition partner, the pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua Party.

The CAMV is expected to be dissolved at its final annual general meeting in Suva and its leaders will make a traditional presentation to the Prime Minister seeking a merger.

Mr Rabuka says the merger is the right direction to go in as long as the parties are responsible in governance.

"Yeah I think it's a very good thing for the Fijian people, they will have a consolidated voice. But it's up to them if they form the next government to understand that they're not there for the Fijian people, they're there for all the people of Fiji."

Mr Rabuka says the Grand Coalition of Fijian Parties is currently seen as only looking after the interests of indigenous Fijians.