4 Aug 2003

Australian unions threaten sanctions over setting up of Fiji's multi party cabinet

7:16 am on 4 August 2003

Australian trade unions have threatened sanctions against Fiji if the issue of a multi party cabinet is not resolved satisfactorily.

The Sunday Times says this has been revealed by the New South Wales branch secretary of the Australian Transport Workers Union, Tony Sheldon.

Mr Sheldon is quoted as saying that his country's unions and the Australian Labour Party are closely looking at the Fiji government to uphold not only the law, but the spirit of the law.

Fiji's information minister, Simione Kaitani, says Mr Sheldon is stirring up unnecessary tension as the prime minister and the Labour leader have yet to agree on the composition of the multi party cabinet.

Mr Kaitani says both Mr Qarase and Mr Chaudhry will meet again this week and both have agreed to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for clarification if they continue to disagree on the division of seats in cabinet.