24 Nov 2006

Last minute efforts to save Fiji's multi-party Cabinet

10:50 am on 24 November 2006

Last ditch efforts are under way in Fiji to save the country's pioneering multi-party cabinet from collapse.

Fiji TV reports the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, met with the prime minister late yesterday and appealed to him to reconsider sacking the four FLP ministers who voted against the 2007 Budget.

The meeting took place after Laisenia Qarase wrote to the four ministers demanding their resignation by today for putting the interest of their political party ahead of their collective responsibility to the multi-party cabinet.

After meeting Mr Qarase, Mr Chaudhry confirmed that their discussions were about the multi-party cabinet and that the Labour Party was committed to it.

Mr Chaudhry said the budget vote put a strain on the multi-party cabinet which both sides are anxious to maintain.

Mr Qarase would only say that they had agreed to meet again to discuss the future of the multi-party cabinet.

The fate of the four ministers is part of the discussion.