New decree shows the regime fears opposition
The severity of the new political parties decree as disclosed to the media yesterday is a clear sign of the regime’s fear of the mounting opposition to its illegal rule.
“This is a calculated attempt to stifle all forms of effective opposition in the lead up to the elections,” said Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
The unreasonable time limit set to satisfy the various onerous requirements for the re-registration of current political parties are designed to prevent them from re-registering.
Regardless of these draconian impositions, the Fiji Labour Party will continue to play its part and serve its constituents as it has done since its founding in 1985.
The decree must be denounced as yet another assault on the political and civil rights of our people. The prohibition on trade union officials from taking up office in a political party is to be condemned as a further suppression of the rights of the workers.
The most punitive requirement of all is the stipulation that existing parties must register within 28 days from Friday 18th January or face being rendered illegal.
The requirement to obtain 5000 signatures from the people in all parts of Fiji within a short period and to pay $5500 as registration fee is to make it patently difficult for existing parties to re-register.
The FLP has from day one doubted the sincerity of the regime in moving Fiji towards genuine democracy and the rule of law. We questioned the integrity and credibility of the constitutional process and were proven right when the
Ghai draft was trashed by the regime.
Developments since then have reinforced our view that the regime is driven solely by the desire to entrench its power and illegal rule. Its time the people of Fiji woke up to its political machinations.