Monday, April 06, 2009

No word on talk threat, say Fiji parties

No word on talk threat, say Fiji parties - 06/04/2009

Fiji’s largest political party, warned by the military last week it could be dropped from pivotal talks aimed at building consensus towards general elections, says it has yet to receive official notification of such a move.A senior official of ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase’s Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party said neither organisers of the talks or the Prime Minister’s Office had sent them a letter or any kind of notification to say the party was not allowed to attend the meeting.“All we know is that SDL will be attending the meeting on Thursday. SDL represents the largest number of indigenous Fijians and not having SDL at the meeting will mean that the voice of the Fijians is not being heard,” party director Peceli Kinivuwai told Fijilive. Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama told a local radio station last week, upon returning from a week-long visit to India, he was advised by military officers that political parties who had been making anti-government statements should not be allowed to participate in the third meeting of political leaders.Kinivuwai said if the interim government needed to point out which particular comment worried them.“If anyone is to exclude us from the political dialogue, it is the President because he is deemed to have convened the forum,” he said.Secretary to the President Rupeni Nacewa said he was unable to comment on the matter.Interim government and military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni said an official statement on the matter may be sent out soon.National Federation Party general secretary Pramod Rae also said they had not received any formal notification cancelling their participation at the meeting.Rae said the NFP would be attending the meeting at the parliamentary complex. Bainimarama told the radio station that the NFP, the country’s oldest party, and the United Peoples’ Party were also in danger of being dropped from the talks.This Thursday’s meeting, the third round of discussions between political party leaders and Bainimarama, is aimed at finalising the terms of reference for the President’s Political Dialogue Forum, the forum mediator’s name and the list of non-government organisations to attend the PPDF.

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