26 Jul 2006

Fiji PM urges leniency for Labour dissidents

10:20 am on 26 July 2006

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has called on the Labour party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, to seriously reconsider disciplinary action against five senior party members including two cabinet ministers.

The five face disciplinary action for questioning Mr Chaudhry's decision making style.

Mr Qarase has told Fiji TV he would have preferred a somewhat softer approach as the problem is only one of differences in views and opinions which can be resolved through discussion and dialogue, not through disciplinary action.

He says if the multi-party cabinet fails, Fiji could go back to an SDL government in which other communities tend to be left out.

Mr Qarase says the whole idea of a multi-party cabinet is to bring the communities together.

But Mr Chaudhry says any disciplinary action will not affect the multi-party cabinet because if two ministers go, he can put in two more from his 31 MPs.