By Hayley J. Campbell
Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania
SUVA, Fiji – In anticipation of Monday’s meeting, Fiji’s Interim Prime Minister has announced that if political leaders do not embrace his vision of change, he will not step down from power.
Interim Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, meets today for the first time with representatives from 14 of Fiji’s political parties to discuss Fiji’s future. Bainimarama has warned that he will only entertain proposals from political leaders but will not tolerate the politics of Fiji’s past.
“They should come with proposals on the way forward, not demands! If they show politics of the past in their demands then Monday is not for them and neither will I hand over leadership,” Bainimarama said.
In 2006, the Interim Prime Minister led a military takeover of Fiji’s Federal Government. Earlier this month, the High Court in Fiji ruled that the 2006 coup was legitimate. Ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has challenged that decision, calling it a “miscarriage of justice.”
But the Interim Prime Minister insists that he knows what is best for Fiji. Bainimarama has announced that he will not abdicate power until he is certain that Fiji’s politicians have reformed from their old ways.
“I’m not going to give up leadership of the country until the political parties are ready to show good governance. Because that’s the gist of the PR I am receiving from some political parties. That is, they want to revert to the politics of the past after elections,” Bainimarama said today.
Meanwhile, Qarase’s Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party (SDL) is happy that Bainimarama wants to talk, but remains committed to pressing the issue of Democratic elections. Both SDL and Fiji’s Labor party have insisted that Bainimarama set a firm date for elections to replace the current military government.
But the Interim Prime Minister has clearly stated that now is not the time to discuss a date for the elections.
For more information, please see:
FijiLive – Change your politics or I stay: Fiji PM – 27 October 2008
Fiji Broadcasting Corp Ltd – Set a firm date for polls: Chaudhry – 27 October 2008
FijiVillage – Parties To Meet Interim PM Today – 27 October 2008
FijiVillage – NFP Confirms Participation in Political Dialogue – 27 October 2008
FijiLive – Fiji Leader’s Dialogue to determine future – 26 October 2008
Radio New Zealand International – Fiji interim regime urges cooperation now that coup has been declared legal – 09 October 2008