Friday, June 06, 2008

Beddoes slates clergy’s proposal

Beddoes slates clergy’s proposal - 06 JUN 2008

The discussion paper prepared by Father David Arms for the National Council to Build a Better Fiji has been described as ‘treasonous’.Ousted Opposition Leader Mick Beddoes made the comments today in reacting to suggestion by Dr Arms that “as the military regime was more or less acting outside the Constitution, the NCBBF should take the opportunity to push through the electoral reforms and amend the Constitution, by taking advantage of the military authority and ignoring the legal constitutional requirements for making such changes”.Beddoes said this is a suggestion for selective compliance with Fiji’s laws.He said he was dismayed at the ease by which a few ‘men of God’ have become biased in favour of the perpetrators of treason.“They have allowed their principles to be easily compromised by opting for shortcut solutions to our problems because of the ‘sway of the gun’. “God did not take any short cuts; he gave his only son so that he dies in order to save the sinners of the world. “Yet here in Fiji we have at least four of his messengers, shamefully proclaiming the need for change in support of a military Junta, whose actions to date have been against the will of the people.”Beddoes said that it was grossly ‘irresponsible’ of Father Arms and his colleagues to be suggesting changes to the electoral system that could not be correctly implemented without an elected Parliament.Beddoes said there was no substitute for a properly constituted and inclusive ‘political dialogue’ process.“Through this process agreements can be reached and signed that will call for necessary action, either before the proposed 2009 elections, or after.”Beddoes adds that minority rights and representation must be a factor in any discussions about electoral reforms.“It must remain so until a level of maturity settles in and the electorate starts to view the candidate, not just the political party or a person’s ethnicity as the reason for choice.”

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