31 May 2002

Fiji government says Labour fighting losing battle in power bid

9:39 am on 31 May 2002

Fiji's ruling SDL Party says the Labour Party is fighting a losing battle in its bid to get into the Qarase government.

The party's new general secretary, Josaia Diani, says Labour's claim is based on a section of the constitution which says that any with at least ten percent of the seats in the House of Representatives is entitled to cabinet positions in proportion to its numbers.

But Mr Diani has told the Daily Post that Labour is ignoring the Compact chapter of the constitution which says the paramountcy of indigenous Fijian interests continues to apply in the conduct of the government.

Mr Diani says the Compact chapter makes it clear that the interests of the indigenous Fijian community cannot be subordinated to the interests of other communities.

Mr Diani says the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, should know that the majority of the indigenous race do not want him to be part of the SDL-led coalition government.

He says the SDL government will serve its full five-year term and there will be no general election as claimed by Mr Chaudhry.