27 Nov 2003

Fiji Supreme Court to hear second stage of multi-party case in May

11:34 am on 27 November 2003

Fiji's Supreme Court will assemble in May next year to hear the second stage of the multi-party cabinet case.

The chief justice Daniel Fatiaki has set May the 11th and the 12th as the dates on which the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the number of seats the Labour Party should have in a multi-party cabinet.

Following the July order of the court to the prime minister to form a multi-party cabinet without delay, Mr Qarase offered Labour 14 seats in an expanded 36 member cabinet in which he wants to retain all his current ministers.

Labour says the offer is unconstitutional and it is entitled to 17 seats.

Lawyers for both sides have been given three months to file their arguments and counter arguments

Fiji's Supreme Court comprises very senior judges from Australia and New Zealand and sits several times a year with the May sitting being its first for 2004.