23 May 2006

Fiji Labour Party accepts nine portfolios offered by PM

3:34 pm on 23 May 2006

The Fiji Labour Party has decided to accept the nine portfolios offered by the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and join his multi-party cabinet.

The decision was reached at a Labour Party caucus meeting which ended at 12.30pm just as the swearing in of 14 ministers and 12 ministers of state appointed by Mr Qarase was coming to an end.

The Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says a majority of the people want to make the multi-party cabinet system work and it is their responsibility to fulfill this obligation.

The Labour ministers will be sworn in by President Iloilo at 11.00 o'clock tomorrow morning.

The party's vice-president, Krishna Datt, says not all of the party's good people can join the cabinet.

He says they need somebody like Mr Chaudhry to stay out and manage the remaining group of Labour MPs.

Mr Datt says this does not mean that they will be in the opposition.


IN: In the context of Fiji, the so-called Westminster type opposition is redefined for a group of people coming from either side of the house to hold the government accountable. Now, it doesn't need a leader of the opposition to be the only to be able to do that. That's not the concern.

DUR: 17