Political parties optimistic to form a coalition Friday

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Leaders of The People’s Alliance and National Federation Party are confident they will receive a response from the Social Democratic Liberal Party Management Board this afternoon on forming a new government in Fiji.

Sitiveni Rabuka and Professor Biman Prasad say the meeting was conducted in a cordial manner.

Prasad said they are confident about their proposals to SODELPA and also their intention to form a coalition.

“I am very excited after the discussion and the presentation. As we were when we made our first presentation and we are absolutely confident that the partnership we are trying to forge is going to be the partnership in government.”

Meanwhile, representatives from FijiFirst are also making their proposal to the SODELPA Board.

The members from FijiFirst include leader Voreqe Bainimarama, General Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and members Semi Koroilavesau, Ioane Naivalarua, Viliame Naupoto and Inia Seruiratu.

The meeting today to decide if its decision to form a coalition with the opposition stands, a move that comes after the Pacific country’s military was called in to help police maintain law and order.

Fiji is waiting for its president to recall parliament, so legislators can vote for a new prime minister after a national election last week showed no party received a clear majority.

SODELPA, a power-broker holding three seats in the hung parliament, supports policies favouring indigenous Fijians, and on Tuesday signed a coalition agreement with the People’s Alliance and the National Federation Party.

Tensions have risen after last week’s election delivered a hung parliament. Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama’s Fiji First has not conceded defeat, while a coalition of three parties including SODELPA said it had a combined majority and had agreed on the leader of the People’s Alliance, Sitiveni Rabuka, as prime minister. Rabuka is also a former coup leader.

The Pacific island nation, which has a history of military coups, was dominated by sometimes tense race relations between its indigenous majority and a big ethnic Indian minority, before constitutional reform in 2013 to remove a race-based voting system that favoured indigenous Fijians.

However, opposition parties accuse Bainimarama and his allies of stoking fears of ethnic trouble as a pretext to cling to power.

Rabuka, in a post on Twitter, wrote that claims of Indo-Fijians being targeted were fabrications that were an attempt to “set the nation alight along racial lines.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/REUTERS/ PACNEWS