Friday, June 10, 2011

Fiji Labour Party Support Early Return to Democracy for Fiji

             FIJI  LABOUR PARTY
                        Peace   Freedom   Justice   Democracy                             
National President: Mrs J. Koroi
Secretary-General: M.P.Chaudhry

9 June 2011

Mr Usaia Peter Waqatairewa
Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement Forum

Re:        Restoration of Democracy in Fiji Conference

Thank you for sending me information re the above conference to be held in Queanbeyan on Saturday 11 June, 2011. 

I have the following comments on the draft FDFM Ten Point Principle:

  1.  Restoration of 1997 Constitution and Elections by 2012

  • The first and foremost priority should be to call for the immediate revocation of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER) and the restoration of media freedom

  • The international community should make this a pre condition of any further engagement with the regime

  • Elections should be held by September 2012 following the appointment by the President of a civilian government with the specific mandate to initiate political dialogue between the political parties and the major stakeholders in Fiji

  • The political dialogue should be structured along the lines of the Presidents Political Dialogue Forum (PPDF) mooted by the late former President Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda, in April 2008

  • The United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum should be called upon to discharge the mediators role in  the PPDF

  • The sole objective of the PPDF should be to secure consensus on a roadmap for the restoration of democratic rule in Fiji, via general elections

  • The deliberations of the PPDF should be time bound. Ideally, it should commence by 1st August 2011 and conclude by 31st October 2011 (within 3 months)

  • The civilian government should be appointed by the President by 31st July 2011, at the latest. The military to return to the Barracks before that date

The Electoral System

The electoral system under which the new general elections are to be held should be a matter for discussion and agreement in the PPDF.  The recognized representatives of the people should decide this issue and there should be no attempt by anyone to impose a system on the people. 

The preferred position of the Fiji Labour Party is to adopt the recommendations of the Reeves Commission – 45 Open and 25 Communal seats in a 70 member House of Representatives. We are, however, open to discuss any other suitable system that may be broadly supported.

The other two pillars and the seven points of principle need to be discussed and their implementation etc; agreed upon in the PPDF.  They constitute important issues and need careful deliberation by all concerned.

I note from the programme for the conference that ‘Fiji Labour Party Rep’ is listed as one of the guests speakers.  However, please note that the FLP has not received a formal invitation to attend the conference and we are, therefore, unable to nominate anyone to represent the Party.

Best wishes for a successful conference.

Mahendra P Chaudhry                                        
Secretary General/Leader 

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