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Regime doesn't want pro-democracy people on boards

Regime doesn't want pro-democracy people on boards

Thu, 15 Feb 2001 09:32:39 +1200


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Regime says it doesn't want pro-democracy people in statutory bodies

The regime says it does not want any one with pro-democracy leanings in boards of statutory bodies.

The interim regime's Minister for Labour made the comment when he ignored the recommendations of the Fiji Employers Federation and the Fiji Trades Union Congress appointments to the Labour Advisory and the Fiji National Training Council Boards. In the past, the appointments were made from the list submitted by the employers and unions. Instead he appointed one former union who is staying in Australia, an official of a defunct trade union, and another union official who has openly preached ethnic supremacy. The Unions have lodged a complaint to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. The Fiji Times has given a scathing criticism of the regime's moves.

The regime has continued to load statutory bodies with people who are regime supporters or sympathisers, irrespective of their qualifications and experiences.

This is precisely what the Rabuka regime had done when it was in power, with the consequence that most public enterprises began performing dismally. The increasingly poor performance of the enterprises led the regime to consider privatising the enterprises, where once again, shares for choice enterprises were reserved for cronies.

One typical case is that of the Government Shipyard, which the Rabuka regime had sold to a foreign company getting actually paid less that $1m in total. The same shipyard is now being bought by the Qarase regime for over $6m.

The current regime is following similar policies. It has already promoted numerous civil servants above more qualified and experienced civil servants, largely on the basis of ethnicity and overt political support for the regime.

Observers have noted that the trend will see the gradual elimination of the integrity of the public enterprises and the total collapse of the state institutions.

Meanwhile the media has remained silent on the general trend of the regime filling statutory bodies and state institutions with cronies. In contrast, then the People's Coalition Government was bringing in people with merit into the boards, the media, led by the Fiji Times, led scathing attacks on the government.


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