The Prime Minister’s continuous rhetoric about transparency and his government’s so-called clean-up campaign does not fool the nation anymore, says the Fiji Labour Party.
Although there has been corruption in the past, his own regime has the most appalling record in terms of corruption and a lack of transparency in handling the affairs of the State, FLP said.
The Party is responding to the Prime Minister’s statement to the Fiji Sun (14/9/12) that his government was “promoting credibility and transparency something past governments had ignored”.
If his government is really promoting transparency, then Commodore Bainimarama should answer the following questions:
- Why have government accounts and finances not been published for public scrutiny since 2008?
- Why are Cabinet salaries now processed by a Suva private accounting firm owned by a close relative of the interim Attorney General and not the Treasury as has been the practice under past governments?
- Why is it that the nation no longer knows how much Cabinet Ministers are paid – when Cabinet pays were a matter of public information under past governments?
- Why are government contracts awarded to favoured companies without tenders being called as is required under the Public Service regulations?
We can go on – the list is long – but let the four questions above be first answered.
Regrettably, the Prime Minister’s promises and assurances to the nation can no longer be relied on. As for the Constituent Assembly, to safeguard transparency and democratic norms, the Prime Minister should not be the sole arbiter of appointments to the Assembly which will determine the final constitution.
To give one person absolute powers in determining the size and composition of the Assembly is wrong in principle, and no amount of public assurances by Commodore Bainimarama will set this right.