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Chaudhry ready to work with 'clean' govt

Chaudhry ready to work with 'clean' govt

5 March 2001

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SUVA (Pasifik Nius): Ousted Fiji prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry says
he will not be part of any government which may include people allegedly
involved in the May 19 attempted coup, the Daily Post reports.

Chaudhry, however, said he was a ready to work in a clean government.

"I am not opposing the idea of having a government of national unity
because the coalition set-up itself was a multi-party cabinet, but what
I am against is being part of a set-up that may include some who have
had a hand in the overthrow of a democratically elected government," he

"It is all about principles and I have some principles in my life.

"I will not be part of such a set-up."

On the future of Fiji Labour Party, Chaudhry said the party was not up
for sale.

"The party doesn't belong to just a few people but it is a party of the
grassroots people and they are the ones who will decide its future."

Chaudhry said the coalition leadership would be entirely up for the
coalition partners to decide.

He however suggested all such issues would be resolved after the
political crisis is ended by the re-convening of the pre-May Parliament.

"The Court of Appeal has shown clear directions to resolve a political
crisis and the first step that needs to be taken is the Parliament to be

"I must also make it clear that I was the leader of the coalition and
our coalition partners will be fully consulted on all matters related to
the recalling of Parliament and the events that must follow.

"It is time that the nation must be given a break, of course people must
make that choice. Fiji is being watched by the rest of the world and if
it doesn't uphold the rule of law, the nation has to be pay a price. We
can expect a rise in unemployment, no worthwhile investment, and poverty
levels will rise beyond tolerable levels."

On the other hand, deposed co-deputy prime minister Dr Tupeni Baba said
he had no problems being part of a government of national unity which
might involve people who were alleged to have been involved in the May
19 attempted coup.

He said he as a politician had to take a few such steps and reminded the
public no one had been convicted of being involved in the attempted

Meanwhile, a deposed senator suggested that some members may opt to be
part of a GNU because it is all about "bread and butter".

"Perhaps, those who may join a GNU want just to be on that ministerial
pension scheme and not so much to serve the people."



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