Fiji regime playing games – UFDF
Originally aired on Dateline Pacific, Friday 30 May 2014
The United Front for a Democratic Fiji says delay tactics are being deployed by the regime despite the elections due in just over three months
The United Front for a Democratic Fiji says delay tactics are being deployed by the regime despite the
elections due in just over three months.
The Front’s co-ordinator, Mick Beddoes, recently lodged an objection to the registration of Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama’s proposed Fiji First party, with the Supervisor of Elections.
He told Bridget Tunnicliffe they’ve committed a clear breach of the Political Parties Decree by using the name of a previous party.
MICK BEDDOES: As a lay man that’s how I read it, I have asked a couple of lawyers to tell whether or not that understanding of mine if correct and in both cases they have said yes. In the straight interpretation of what the decree says they can’t use the name of another party. You will recall the SODELPA party wanted to use its name and symbol and they were stopped though a new decree that was issued and it’s this particular decree that they issued to block SODELPA from using the same name of SDL is now applicable to them because they virtually doing the same thing that they stopped SODELPA doing last year. As far as I’m concerned how the supervisor of elections decides on this is a very important matter and people should pay attention to this because this will demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that the laws in Fiji are only for a certain group and that’s for the rest of the population, while a certain group is exempt from any of the implications of those laws.
BRIDGET TUNNICLIFFE: Are you optimistic that the supervisor of elections will see it the way you do?
MB: I’m certainly not holding my breath in terms of an expectation that the right decision will be made. The regime has ignored virtually everything that anybody else says since they’ve been in power and I’m not expecting them to suddenly develop a conscience and start to do things correctly.
BT: Are you concerned that with the elections only about three months away now, September, that these things are still being sorted out. By the time we might get decisions on these things we could only have a few weeks before the actual elections.
MB: This is all part of the game at play by the regime this is all part of their planning so I don’t think this is anything out of the ordinary, this is all part of it, so these things I expect to be dragged on to the point where they are irrelevant. And from my point of view that’s what I’m expecting to happen. And the point being that after the elections if we do have a democratically elected government in place and the elections were free and fair then when we do the investigations in to the action of people then there is a record of a complaint being lodged and the people who’ve made those decisions that are incorrect will have to answer for it so either way if we don’t get our answer to this correctly now before the elections I certainly expect that I will get it after the elections.
Mick Beddoes says it appears the Elections Supervisor, the Police, and Media Industry Development Authority are complicit in the regime’s delay tactics.
All three bodies have received official complaints against the proposed Fiji First party for Decree breaches, yet none have issued any findings.