6 Jun 2006

Fiji Prime Minister says parliament will be better with Labour in cabinet

5:40 am on 6 June 2006

The nine Fiji Labour Party members who have joined Laisenia Qarase's multi-party government say they are happy to be sitting in parliament as cabinet ministers.

They have also told Fiji TV that the Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry sitting as a backbencher on the opposite side of the House is in the true spirit of the constitution.

Mr Qarase says with some Labour ministers in cabinet, he expects the highly charged debate seen in the old parliament to tone down.

He says this will be good for the country.

On the Labour MP's not in cabinet, Mr Qarase says they cannot be in the opposition as they are a part of the government.

But Mr Qarase adds that their legal position is not clear in the constitution and the matter is best left to the legal people to sort out.

Fiji's president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, will formally open the first session of the new parliament later today.