3 Jun 2003

Former Fiji PM says snap election possible over multi-party cabinet court case

11:24 am on 3 June 2003

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says the country should be ready for a snap general election in the near future.

The Daily Post reports that Mr Rabuka made the comment after being re-elected president of the Fijian Political Party, the SVT, which he had led in the 1990's.

It quotes him as saying the SVT is politically alive and well, and will fight the next general election if there is one this year.

Mr Rabuka says Fiji could go to the polls if the upcoming Supreme Court case on the multi-party cabinet goes in favour of the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.

He says if the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, does not want to accept the verdict, he may decide to dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections.

Mr Rabuka says a general election would be the best answer to a situation where the two leaders do not agree to work together.

But he admits that there will be no major changes because the country is still polarised which would be reflected in the outcome.

The SVT is changing its constitution to admit members of all races with Mr Rabuka saying he will return to politics if he has like-minded people to work with.