16 Aug 2007

Former Fiji SDL Minister to join interim government

7:28 am on 16 August 2007

A cabinet minister in Fiji's former SDL government will join interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama's cabinet next week.

Fiji TV reports that Joketani Cokanasiga, who was home affairs minister in charge of the army and the police a few years ago, has confirmed that he will be joining the current administration as the interim minister for fisheries and forests.

The interim prime minister, Commodore Bainimarama, says the ministry of agriculture, fisheries and forests is being split up so the current minister, Jainendra Kumar, can concentrate on developing agriculture.

Mr Cokanasiga says he responded to the call to national duty because there is a lot to be done to move the country forward.

He says he has no problems in joining the interim administration even though he knows that his decision will affect his children in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Cokanasiga is expected to be sworn in on Monday making him the 17th minister in the interim cabinet.

He was sacked as minister for home affairs by Laisenia Qarase for failing to reign in Commodore Bainimarama and replaced by Josefa Vosanibola.