WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Sept. 4) - The Fiji Labor Party office in Lautoka has been ransacked, leaving behind a trail of destruction and damage.

The Fiji Times reports that the party has described the crime as an act of intimidation.

Party files and records were destroyed as well as a picture of the Labor prime minister deposed in the 1987 military coup, Dr Timoci Bavadra.

Nothing was stolen in the trashing which Labor’s Lautoka office manager, Subhash Verma, says was an attack on democracy.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase is seeking legal advice on the refusal by 14 Labor MPs named to his multi-party cabinet to take up their appointments.

Although it is the prime minister’s prerogative to decide who goes into his cabinet, the 14 MPs have told Qarase that the decision on who joins the government will be made by their leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.

September 4, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: 


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