22 Aug 2006

Fiji PM concerned by Labour Party infighting

9:52 am on 22 August 2006

Fiji's prime minister has expressed concern with infighting in the Labour Party where five senior members including two cabinet ministers are facing renewed disciplinary action.

Laisenia Qarase has told Fiji TV he hopes there won't be any expulsions which will require by-elections.

Mr Qarase says he had hoped Labour's national council would sort the matter out but the problem seems to be becoming worse.

He says at present he does not see any threat to the smooth running of the multi-party cabinet but a lot will depend on what ultimately happens, particularly to those in the cabinet.

Meanwhile, Mr Qarase's minister for labour and vice president of the FLP, Krishna Datt, says he is particularly aggrieved that he has to resort to legal action against the party on the eve of his retirement from politics.

Mr Datt says as one of the FLP's founders and its first secretary general, he hopes the present problems will give an opportunity to set up ground rules on how political parties should operate.