10 Aug 2006

Fiji Labour cabinet minister says party must remain in multi-party cabinet

9:54 am on 10 August 2006

The Fiji Labour Party cabinet minister, Krishna Datt, says the tabling of the Qoliqoli and Land Claims Tribunal Bills should not be the reason for the party to withdraw from the multi-party cabinet.

Mr Datt's comments come on Radio Legend as the Labour caucus prepares to meet in an emergency session where withdrawal from the cabinet is understood to be a serious option.

Mr Datt says the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, is definitely concerned about the two bills being tabled in this sitting of the Lower House but there is always room for consultation and dialogue.

He says they had anticipated that there would be times when there are differences between the two parties, but that does not mean that they should disengage.

Mr Datt says personally he does not feel that the multi-party arrangements are threatened at this point but the views of other members would be known during the caucus meeting.

Mr Chaudhry said this week that steamrolling of controversial legislation poses a serious test to the multi-party arrangements and is "part of a deliberately calculated strategy by the prime minister to derail the multi-party cabinet."