Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beddoes Questions Bainimarama's Mandate to Speak for the People of Fiji

Mick Beddoes


Former Opposition Leader & United Peoples Party President Mick Beddoes has described as ‘nonsense’ criticisms leveled against him on FBC TV last night by PM Bainimarama that his submission to the Constitution Review Commission was ‘self serving’ and that he [Bainimarama] speaks on behalf of the people.

PM Bainimarama FBC TV interview Aug 27, 2012: - Quote

 “Somehow Mick Beddoes can’t figure out where he is coming from seriously. And the same goes for other Political parties that have come out with their submissions. People of Fiji …and I speak on their behalf, really don’t know how to convince these type of people that this is the right path forward for us.” “Whatever you come out with in your submissions should be for the good of the people of Fiji and not for yourselves. I mean look at what he’s come out with? It’s not different from what has been mentioned by the SDL. It’s very self-serving.”  Unquote    

 I mean, seriously!?

Typically, when speaking off the cuff, Mr Bainimarama says things he probably wishes were true.  And he most likely has been coached by his spin doctors and media partners into repeating it often enough so that it starts to sound right and reasonable to the uninformed.

A very simple way to separate fact from fiction or truth from lies would be for Bainimarama to tell the people which General Election he is referring to that got him elected by the people to allow him to claim, as he did on National TV, that he speaks on behalf of the people?

Or has he convinced himself that the coup of December 5th 2006 was a General Election and his self-appointment as Prime Minister soon after was a mandate from the people?

My personal submission to the Constitution Commission last week covered most of the provisions of the 1997 Constitution.  It incorporated suggested amendments, including most of the People’s Charter recommendations contained in the Pillars, as well as some specific deterrents to prevent future coups.

Not a single recommendation I made would benefit me, personally. But if Mr Bainimarama thinks my submission was ‘self serving’ then he would have to apply that description to his own Peoples Charter for Change as well.  In fact, some of his recent decrees are also blatantly self-serving.  So he has shot himself in the foot again.

Bainimarama also referred to me and other political leaders as being ‘old’.

If by that he means I am politically old, having spent six years in parliament, then he’s even older having been head of government for the last six years. 

And if, as he has already stated, he is going to stay in his position until 2014, then he should get ready for the museum because after eight years of heading the government he will be an older politician than I, according to his aging formula.

But if Mr Bainimarama means I am old at 61, then at 58 he’s not too far behind me.  And as he will be 60 when the 2014 elections come along, he will have little choice, if he stands for election, but to join me and the other ‘oldies’ he appears to despise so much.  Or will he be ‘self serving’ and suddenly change the goal posts and declare 60 as the new age of wisdom and maturity? 

Either way, Bainimarama has to face the reality that the one certainty in life is that change is coming - and there is precious little that he and the deceptive lining that he and his spin doctors have in place in their roadmap to democracy can do to halt it.

Bainimarama would do well to listen very carefully and sincerely to the VOICE of the people. He must stop being hypocritical and denigrating and instead show humility and respect for the people by giving them back their democracy and freedoms.

Authorized By                                   Mick Beddoes

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