22 Nov 2005

There's a call in Fiji for political leaders to resume talks

7:26 pm on 22 November 2005

There is a call in Fiji for political leaders to resume talks amid concerns that the country is too divided.

A Labour party MP, Dr Ganesh Chand, who's retiring from politics at next year's election, says dialogue needs to occur because the gaps between indigenous Fijians and Fiji Indians, as well as other ethnic groups, are ongoing.

He says the government has spent the last five years promoting policies, which for the most part, benefit indigenous Fijians and ignore other groups.

Dr Chand says the collapse of talks between the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and the Labour party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has not been good for the country.

"I have been letting my views known to the leader of the Labour party that we ought to talk, not only to the prime minister but also to other institutions, like the provincial councils, like the Great Council of Chiefs, the military, the police, etc. So, dialogue has to start; without dialogue you don't even make the first step."

Dr Chand says he doesn't know if the talks will be resumed because politicians will be in election mode and competing.