The Fiji Labour Party leader and ousted former interim Finance & Sugar Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, is reported to have recently met the deposed Prime Minister and SDL Leader, Laisenia Qarase.
Fiji Television news reported on Monday night the two leaders spoke during the opening of the law office of lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry, in Suva recently. Rajendra is MP Chaudhry’s eldest son.
RP Chaudhry confirmed to Fiji TV news the two leaders met in his office but claimed he was not privy to their discussions.
Our sources say that for at least six months now, Mahendra Chaudhry has been trying to meet Qarase. Sources say while such a meeting between two leaders who are diametrically opposed to each other would seem far fetched, Chaudhry has a history of jumping into bed with any leader who has been willing to rescue his dwindling political fortunes or offer him prestige and power.
Our sources point out that:
a)After the May 1992 elections, Chaudhry’s support enabled 1987 coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka to become Prime Minister
b)Chaudhry obtained nationalist leader Sakeasi Butadroka’s support to try and become Leader of the Opposition in 1992
c)Chaudhry refused to join Qarase’s multi-party Cabinet after the 2006 elections with nine Labour MPs who became Ministers. He even refused Qarase’s offer of Deputy Prime Minister
d)Chaudhry joined Frank Bainimarama’s interim regime in January 2007 with two other FLP Members, despite being a victim of three previous coups.
Our sources point out that Chaudhry endorsed Bainimarama’s military coup by repeatedly saying the army commander as justified in overthrowing a corrupt leader like Qarase who was “going to bankrupt Fiji”.
Chaudhry even urged Bainimarama to delay elections and return to parliamentary democracy saying “election is not the answer to Fiji’s problems”.
Chaudhry is a strong advocate of the illegitimate Peoples Charter and has repeated in the last years that electoral reforms must be completed before elections.