24 May 2006

Fiji Labour MPs sworn into multi-party Cabinet

12:40 pm on 24 May 2006

For the first time in Fiji's history members of the Labour Party have been sworn into a multi-party cabinet dominated by the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase's ruling SDL.

All nine Labour ministers were sworn into office at Government House at 11.00 o'clock this morning, pledging not to disclose the proceedings of cabinet to anyone outside.

Both Mr Qarase and the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, were present during the ceremony.

The nine Labour ministers are part of Mr Qarase's 24-member cabinet.

Mr Qarase also has another 12 ministers of state outside the cabinet making a total ministry of 36 in a 71-member House.

Also sworn in today was Mr Qarase's minister without portfolio, longtime high commissioner to Malaysia and Bau high chief, Adi Samanunu Talakuli Cakobau, who is entering cabinet through the senate.

The Fiji military has welcomed the formation of the multi-party cabinet.

Its spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, has told Radio Legend that the military is all for it and it will be good for the nation.