16 Oct 2006

Fiji PM gags Ministers of State

5:44 am on 16 October 2006

Fiji's prime minister has gagged his ministers of state by saying they have no place in making policy statements.

Laisenia Qarase gave the clarification on Fiji TV after he sacked his minister of state for youth and sport, Rajesh Singh, last week.

Mr Qarase said it was cabinet ministers who should be talking on policy on behalf of the government while ministerial chief executive officers might provide details.

He said ministers of state are not cabinet ministers and he does not expect them to talk to the media on any policy issues.

Earlier, the prime minister said he had campaigned strongly for Mr Singh during the May general election campaign because he had wanted a multiracial line-up in his government.