11 May 2002

Fiji's PM says he will use all legal means to keep Labour out of the cabinet

7:30 am on 11 May 2002

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says he will exhaust every legal avenue to keep the Labour Party out of his government.

Mr Qarase says whatever the verdict of the courts, he, as prime minister, will decide what is best for the country.

He expressed his view in his keynote address to the annual congress of the Fiji Institute of Accountants in Nadi yesterday.

Mr Qarase was referring to a Lautoka High Court order which said the Labour Party was constitutionally entitled to be part of the cabinet after last year's election.

He says he is being asked to replace members of a trusted and successful cabinet team with a party whose loyalty, support and trustworthiness he cannot take for granted.

Mr Qarase says Labour's policies, in its own words, are diametrically opposed to those of his government and its leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, instead of mounting legal challenges should become the opposition leader.