18 Jun 2003

Fiji opposition shocked at PM's comment on constitution case

7:23 am on 18 June 2003

Fiji's opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, has expressed shock at the prime minister's latest comments on the outcome of the multi-party cabinet case which begins in Suva today.

Radio Fiji reports that Laisenia Qarase said on a government radio programme that if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the Labour Party, one of his options would be to ask its leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, to accept a role in the parliamentary opposition.

Mr Beddoes says that's rather strange for the prime minister to say, considering Mr Qarase is on record as saying that if the Supreme Court rules in Labour's favour, he will abide by it.

Mr Beddoes says for a prime minister to be making such statements at this stage is contradictory given to his previous view.

Mr Chaudhry says Mr Qarase should stick to his word and abide by the court decision.

The National Federation Party leader, Prem Singh, has urged people not to make provocative statements but to abide by the law.