22 Sep 2003

Fiji Reeves Commission member says Chaudhry should accept PM's offer

8:34 am on 22 September 2003

One of the members of the Reeves Commission which drew up Fiji's Constitution, says the Labour Party should follow the document and accept the Cabinet seats offered by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.

Tomasi Vakatora, the indigenous Fijian member of the Commission, says it had not recommended the multi party Cabinet idea - that came from the politicians.

He says whoever wins the most seats in parliament should run the government, and that's what the people want.

But he says the Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry cannot call Mr Qarase's offer unconstitutional because as Prime Minister it's his sole responsibility to determine the cabinet.

"That is not Chaudhry's call. Chaudhry did the same thing to the SVT in 1999. The SVT put their condition that they would like tohave this portfolio and that portfolio and Chaudhry rejected it, why is he changing his tune now?"