16 Oct 2008

SDL maintains it won't accept changes to Fiji constitution before election

8:41 am on 16 October 2008

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister has reiterated the position of his SDL party that changes to the country's constitution cannot be made by an interim administration.

Laisenia Qarase has weclomed an indication by the Interim prime minister, Commodorore Frank Bainimarama, that he hopes to initiate a political forum by the end of the month.

Mr Qarase says it's a positive development and the SDL is eager to commence the political talks as soon as possible.

He says his party intends to join the forum with an open mind to what other stakeholders bring to the table, but maintains there is one stand SDL won't budge from:

"We have never said that we would accept reforms before the election, that is our position now. What happens in the forum, that's another issue. We would rather wait until we get into the forum and hear other people's views. But strictly speaking, we believe that any change to the constitution must be made by an elected parliament. That's our key position."

Laisenia Qarase.