24 Nov 2006

Efforts in Fiji to save multi-party cabinet

3:01 pm on 24 November 2006

Last ditch efforts are being made in Fiji to save the country's coalition government from collapse.

The Prime Minister met with the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, late yesterday, who appealed to him not to sack the four FLP cabinet ministers who voted against the Budget.

The meeting occurred after Laisenia Qarase gave the four an ultimatum to resign or face dismissal for putting their political party ahead of their collective responsibility to the multi party cabinet.

The four had said they had done nothing wrong, and resigning would imply they had.

The Attorney General, Qoriniasi Bale, says the Prime Minister has agreed to continue talks about the four with Mr Chaudhry, in a bid to retain the multi party cabinet.

"Efforts are underway to try and resolve some of the differences that surround this whole subject now and it is with a view to trying to preserve the multi party cabinet yes."

Mr Bale would not be drawn on whether he thought the Prime Minister would agree not to sack them.