Fiji Labour Party Leader Respects NFP Decision To Stay Out Of Coalition

Chaudhry says Prasad can no longer participate in opposition political party talks

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 31, 2017) – The National Federation Party (NFP) will be excluded from any further talks on the coalition of opposition political parties.

That is the word from Fiji Labour Party (FLP) leader Mahendra Chaudhry, who is spearheading the coalition talks of opposition parties ahead of next year's general election.

Mr Chaudhry said NFP made it clear from its statement yesterday that it would not enter into a coalition with any other party.

"So they will be excluded from any further talks. They have made it clear from today's (yesterday's) statement that they are not going to be a party to the collation," Mr Chaudhry said.

He said the NFP's decision was respected.

"They don't want to be part of the coalition so it's their decision. One can't be forced into any coalition arrangement if they don't want to be a part of it," Mr Chaudhry said.

"That's where the matter ends as far as they are concerned."

Mr Chaudhry said other parties were working out their own strategies, collectively or individually, as the situation may turn out to be.

"They might want to fit in if there is a coalition as a collective strategy or if there is no coalition they will look at it from their own party point of view."

Mr Chaudhry claimed there was opposition to the existence of the present government.

"I think this is where the opposition parties need to think hard on how to capitalise on this and succeed in changing the Government in the next election."

NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad said the party was never part of the coalition talks and had never changed its position on the issue.

"But as per our working committee resolution, we were authorised to talk to all political party leaders on issues of national concern and particularly with respect to changes to the Electoral Act and the implementation of the Multinational Observer Group report and we remain open on those issues.

"So there has been no change in our position right from the beginning."

Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Sitiveni Rabuka also clarified that like the NFP, SODELPA was willing to work with any party post-election, in addition to its current effort to talk cooperatively with other opposition parties.

"I accept and respect the National Federation Party's decision to go the election on its own, and its board's decision to decide after election who it will work with," Mr Rabuka said.

"My statement made earlier this week was to make clear that SODELPA is open to working with any party after the election as well."

Fiji Times Online.
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