15 Nov 2006

Fiji PM says energy minister Vyashnoi should quit

3:05 pm on 15 November 2006

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says his energy minister, Lekh Ram Vyashnoi of the Labour Party, should resign.

Mr Qarase's statement on Radio Legend follows Mr Vyashnoi's speech in parliament yesterday when he said he would vote against the budget and knew that his fate was sealed.

Mr Qarase says he will wait until the budget vote next week to see who votes against it and then take action.

But, he adds, that if Mr Vyashnoi is unable to support the budget approved by the cabinet of which he is a part, by convention he should do the honorable thing and resign now.

Mr Qarase says if he fails to resign and actually votes against the budget, that will be sufficient grounds for his dismissal.

But Mr Vyashnoi says he will not resign because he has done nothing wrong and was just standing up for the people who voted him in when he spoke against the budget yesterday.

He says there is no oath which stops him from exercising his right to speak and he will wait for what he prime minister will do.