19 Jul 2006

Four sub-committees to look at Fiji multi-party government

3:24 pm on 19 July 2006

Fiji's multi-party cabinet has agreed to set up four subcommittees to iron out policy differences between the SDL and the Fiji Labour Party to ensure the smooth operation of the multi-party government.

The four subcommittees are for Land; Equal Opportunities and Human Rights; Constitutional Changes and Review; and Public Sector and Public Enterprise Reform.

The subcommittee on Land will examine and find solutions to land lease problems surrounding indigenous owned land.

The Equal Opportunities and Human Rights subcommittee will oversee the review of the affirmative action programmes under the provisions of the Social Justice Act and also maintain oversight on such matters as equal opportunities for women.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, will chair all the subcommittees except for the one on the Constitution Review which will be headed by the attorney general.

But while Labour Party ministers will be in the subcommittees, their party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, who is not in the multi-party cabinet, has criticised the subcommittees saying they will not resolve anything.

Mahendra Chaudhry says the government has a lot of problems which stem from its ignorance of human rights practices and it should accept it is in the wrong and redress them.

Mr Chaudhry says Labour ministers must deliberate along party lines in the subcommittees.