14 Oct 2003

Multi-party case not on supreme court agenda

6:22 pm on 14 October 2003

Fiji's supreme court began its latest session in Suva today, without the multi-party cabinet case being listed on its hearing agenda.

The Fiji Times reports that the Court Registry has nothing on the multi-party cabinet case for the two week session.

The newspaper quotes a source in the judiciary as saying that no reference has been made on the issue.

Last month the cabinet agreed to refer the Labour Party's entitlement in a multi-party cabinet to the Supreme Court.

This was after Labour rejected the prime minister Laisenia Qarase's offer of 14 cabinet seats in an expanded cabinet of 36 ministers saying it should have 17.

Labour was also highly critical of the portfolios offered describing them as minor and a joke, and questioned Mr Qarase's good faith in the negotiations.

Mr Qarase has accused the Labour Party of doing everything it could to frustrated the formation of a multi-party cabinet by constantly bringing new issues and shifting goalposts.