19 Nov 2007

Some welcome for plans by Fiji's interim PM to downsize and reshuffle Cabinet

11:07 am on 19 November 2007

Some trade unions and politicians in Fiji have welcomed the interim prime minister's announcement that he will reduce the size of the cabinet from 17 to 13 and reshuffle it this week.

The general secretary of the Fiji Teachers Union, Agni Deo Singh, has told the Fiji Sun the move is a good one because some interim ministers are not doing a good job and need to be replaced.

He says it is time that competent and educated people from the public sector not aligned to any political party should be chosen.

The general secretary of the Fijian Teachers Union, Maika Namudu, has echoed similar sentiments and added his concern that some interim ministers may be carrying an excessive workload.

The former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says the reshuffle is an opportunity for the interim prime minister to transform the cabinet into a totally civilian one.

Mr Beddoes says this would add momentum to Fiji's return to democracy.

A minister in the deposed 1999 Labour Coalition government, Meli Bogileka, says the interim prime minister wants to speed up the work that needs to be done in preparation for the 2009 elections.