26 Jun 2006

Fiji opposition leader calls for regular talanoa talks between top leaders

10:14 am on 26 June 2006

Fiji's opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, has called for regular, informal talks or talanoa sessions between himself, the prime minister and the Labour Party leader to ensure the survival of the multi-party cabinet.

Mr Beddoes' invitation comes amid continued uncertainty over the future of the multi-party cabinet as the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, insists that Labour cabinet ministers must vote along party lines in parliament.

Fiji's vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, has also publicly warned that Mr Chaudhry is in a strategic position to destroy the multi-party government.

Mr Beddoes says he wants regular meetings between Mr Chaudhry, Mr Qarase and himself to reach a new level of understanding as part of a support mechanism to ensure the success of the multi-party government.

Mr Beddoes says unstructured and private hour-long meetings three times a month on topics that would remain open and flexible would establish the "Pacific Way" of conflict resolution.

He has also called for agreement on a new Korolevu Declaration setting out a detailed code of conduct for the operation of the multiparty cabinet.