22 May 2006

Fiji's United People's Party says it wants to stay in opposition

9:17 am on 22 May 2006

The leader of the United People's Party in Fiji, Mick Beddoes, says he feels it would be better for his party to stay in the opposition.

The United People's Party is a coalition partner of the Fiji Labour Party and Mr Beddoes' comment comes just as the Labour leader is due to give the prime minister a list of 12 names from which Mr Qarase will choose members of his multi-party cabinet.

Mr Beddoes says the UPP would consider the best interests of Fiji before deciding whether the party would be part of the 12 names Mr Chaudhry will give today.

Mr Beddoes says his party is ready to rescind its coalition agreement to enable Labour to send eight of its members into the new multi-party cabinet.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, had announced his decision to exclude the UPP from the multi-party cabinet but Mr Chaudhry has invited the UPP to be part of his nominees in the new cabinet.

The United People's Party won two seats in the general elections with one going Mr Beddoes and the second to Bernadette Rounds Ganilau