8 Apr 2003

Fiji Labour leader wants one-to-one talks with PM

8:19 am on 8 April 2003

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, wants to hold one-to-one talks with the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, on key issues.

Mr Chaudhry has told the Fiji TV he wants to judge Mr Qarase on where he stands on land, sugar and the constitution, without the presence of advisors and hangers on.

Mr Chaudhry's invitation comes more than six months after he broke off the so-called talanoa talks with Mr Qarase organised by the Hawaii-based East-West Centre.

Mr Chaudhry says there's a need for very frank talks with the prime minister and if they are able to reach some agreement, they can take the issues further.

But Mr Chaudhry says if Mr Qarase plays politics and pushes his own agenda, the talks will serve no purpose.