FIJI GOVERNMENT TO RE-APPEAL IN BID TO KEEP LABOUR PARTY FROM CABINET

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 30, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The Qarase government in Fiji has decided to re-appeal a High Court decision requiring it to include members of the deposed Labour Party in its Cabinet.

The government accepts that the new appeal could be dismissed, Attorney General Qoriniasi Bale told the Fiji Times, as the Fiji Court of Appeal has already ruled on the same legal issues.

He said the government would then apply for leave from the Court of Appeal court to file an appeal with the Supreme Court, Fiji's highest court.

Mr. Bale said political parties with strong opposing political views should not be forced to manage the government together.

In elections following the May 2000 coup, the Fiji Labour Party led by Mahendra Chaudhry -- who was ousted in the coup -- gained an entitlement under Fiji's multi-racial constitution to eight of the 20 seats in Cabinet, which was refused by Prime Minister Qarase.

Last week, the High Court upheld the Labour Party's right to join the Cabinet.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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