Labour MPs selected by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase to be in his cabinet have written to him to say that any decision on who joins his cabinet will be made by Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
In a letter signed jointly, the 14 MPs expressed surprise at seeing their names in the papers when none of them had been approached or consulted on their appointments.
The MPs also expressed deep concern that Party Leader and other senior members of FLP had been excluded from the Cabinet list.
“This is inconsistent with the spirit and intent of Section 99 of the Constitution and the principles of power sharing and nation building” they said.
The MPs said that in deciding on cabinet appointments, Mr. Qarase should have followed proper channels of communication as advised by Mr. Chaudhry in a letter to him on 8 August 2003.
They have told the Prime Minister that in order to avoid “embarrassment in future”, the list of Labour MPs to be appointed to Cabinet will be forwarded to him at the appropriate time by Mr. Chaudhry .
“As members of the Fiji Labour Party we are fully committed to the principles of party solidarity and collective decision making. We are also loyal to our elected leader. Any decision on the issue of joining your cabinet will therefore be made by the Party leader, ” they said.
Meanwhile, no FLP member will take up ministerial positions until the issue of FLP’s entitlement to the number of ministerial positions is determined by the Supreme Court.
FLP maintains it is entitled to 17 cabinet positions and not 14 as allocated by the Prime Minister. The two parties have agreed to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for determination.