By Davila Waqausa

SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 8, 2001 – The Soqosoqo Duavata Lewenivanua Party says it will have the numbers to form the next government, despite dumping the radical Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua Party as a potential coalition partner.

So confident is the SDL that its General Secretary Jale Baba said party leader, Mr. Laisenia Qarase, would be sworn in as Prime Minister next Monday.

Mr. Qarase would announce his Cabinet two days later, on Wednesday, a confident Mr. Baba told the SUN. SDL took the final two seats of Cunningham Open and Tailevu South/Lomaiviti Open yesterday to take its total tally to 31.

This is still five seats short of the required majority of 36 seats in the 71-seat Parliament.

Even with the additional support of the two successful independent candidates of Marieta Rigamoto (Rotuma Communal) and Ratu Savenaca Draunidalo (Lau/Taveuni/Rotuma Open), SDL would still be three seats short.

However, Mr. Baba is hopeful that SDL would be able to get the numbers, from minority parties candidates especially, by the time Parliament sits for the first time, which would be sometime in October.

Minority parties, which included the two winning candidates from the New Labour Unity Party and one each from the National Federation Party and the United General Party, met at the NFP headquarters in Suva yesterday to map out their next move.

Another meeting is scheduled today.

Also meeting in Tamavua village today will be the General Assembly of the SDL where members of the party's management board would be elected.

For additional reports from the Fiji Sun, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Sun.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment