Monday, May 26, 2008

Fiji Do Not Need ‘quasi dictatorship’

Academic warns of ‘quasi dictatorship’
Last updated 5/26/2008

The interim government has to honour its March 2009 election commitment. Local Australian based academic Dr Brij Lal, who is also an architect of the 1997 Constitution reminded interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that his credibility was in question after he had announced at Nadoi village in Rewa, last Thursday that there would be no election if the people rejected the People’s Charter.
“The international community knows fully well what the interim regime’s game plan is. They will not be fooled. Acts of intimidation and back flipping are noticed,” Mr Lal said.
Interim Foreign Minister Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Auckland on March 26 again reiterated the interim government’s commitment in holding elections in March 2009.
“The interim government is committed to holding democratic elections in March 2009 in line with the commitments Fiji has given to the international community, the EU and the Pacific Islands Forum,” Ratu Epeli told the Forum Foreign Ministers at the Auckland meet.
Two months later, Mr Lal said PM Bainimarama made a statement totally against his government the election commitment.
He said the more the interim regime continued on this path of confrontation, the harder it would be for the international community to engage with the regime.
The Australian National University (ANU) lecturer said with government’s non commitment to holding election in March 2009 it would impact on the ordinary hard working men and women and not members and well-heeled supporters of the interim regime.
“I fear that Fiji is slowly descending into a quasi-dictatorship. There are too many hangers-on, too many who have benefitted from the largesse of the interim regime, in both public and private life, who does not want to let go of power.”
These people, he said are riding a gravy train from which they do not wish to disembark.

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