Fiji's prime minister has welcomed the planned merger later today of the pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party with his ruling SDL party.
Laisenia Qarase has told Fiji TV the merger is the right direction to go when it comes to unifying indigenous Fijian political parties ahead of the general election.
The Conservative Alliance will be dissolved at its final annual general meeting in Suva and its leaders will make a traditional presentation to the SDL leader seeking a merger.
Mr Qarase says it would be ideal to have all indigenous political parties uniting.
But, he says, if that cannot be achieved, the merger of the SDL and the CAMV is a very good start.
Mr Qarase says the merger is in the best interests of the nation because a united indigenous population will lead to a more stable and prosperous country.