Friday, August 31, 2012

Fiji's Main Parties Tell Pacific Forum Leaders of Real Situation in Fiji


SDL Party President Solomone Naivalu with PM Qarase
 In a 11 page submission, the leaders of Fiji's 4 main political parties have written to the Pacific Island Forum Leaders in the Cook Islands on the real situation on the ground in Fiji despite current moves towards democratic elections and constitutional government. Signatories of the submission are Solomone Naivalu (SDL party President), Mahendra Chaudhry (Fiji Labour Party leader), Raman Pratap Singh (National Federation Party president) and Mick Beddoes leader of the United Peoples Party.

In their submission, leaders of SDL, Labour, NFP and UPP labelled recent moves by the Bainimarama regime towards elections in 2014 as largely hypocritical and unfair given its ongoing control on the machinery of preparing the new constitution as well as the electoral process.
Labour Party Leader Chaudhry

The leaders also raised grave concerns at the political motivations of the regime and its leader in targeting opponents who dare challenge its authority or speak out. With a largely compliant media, they say Fijians are largely being cowed into towing the line for fear of being intimidated and set after by the court system that has so far claimed former PM Qarase and with Chaudhry up next.

There is also strong opposition to granting immunity to the coupsters saying they deserve full treatment under a neutral justice system in order to answer for their crime and deter further coups in Fiji. Similarly, the imposition of so called "Non-negotiables" for the new constitution is vehemently opposed by all parties. It is their position that these should be subject to the decision of the people and not by those currently in power.
Mick Beddoes

It is clear, the four political parties are all opposed to sweeping changes to the constitution, preferring its restoration with amendments. In this vein, they see the implementation of the 2009 Court of Appeal Ruling as the best way to restore democratic rule back in Fiji. 

It will be interesting to see the response of the current regime to this united position of the parties that won over 90% of the vote in the 2006 Fiji Election. With the eyes of the international community on Fiji, every move by the regime are being closely watched making it difficult perhaps for it to reverse current direction of political developments. 

However, like a cornered rat, it is also a time where, out of sheer desperation to avoid losing power, key actors in the regime could easily lash out when they perceive power is slipping from their grasp. In this light, it is fascinating to watch Bainimarama's reaction as the regime gets targeted from all sides as people begin to marshal the freedom to speak out. No wonder he has been busy attacking those whose submission to the Constitutional Commission he disagrees with. 
NFP President Raman P Singh

A quick glimpse at the quality of his remarks confirms again for all how ill-equipped and fatally unqualified he is as a political leader. With any ounce of sense he no doubt should be aware, or at least his think tank, that he stands absolutely no chance in a freely conducted general elections. 

No wonder he is casting more than a glance at the presidency of Fiji. The again, it may be a bridge too far for him as, sooner or later, his innate frailities as we have all come to know and despise, will find him out. But for someone who continues to place his egotistical ambition in front of the genuine interest of the people who simply want to be ruled by those with their democratic mandate, he may persevere unabated knowing it is for him, a matter of survival.

CLICK HERE for a Copy of the Submission by the Parties!!

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