Fiji: Qarase's Grandstanding Unhelpful - PM
If there is anything which will delay the committed timeline for elections in 2009, it is the persistent political grandstanding which Qarase is seeking, his arrogant style of leadership and the insinuating and unhelpful public comments he has been making.
These are the words of Commodore Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister as he responded to the statements made by Qarase at a Forum organized by the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC).
"The Interim Government has made a number of attempts both formally and informally to get the SDL, the Methodist Church and the NFP to be part of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF) and People's Charter for Change, Progress and Peace (PCCPP) initiatives. These are both genuine and noble initiatives, worthy of unconditional support by all stakeholders interested in creating the framework and foundation for true and sustainable democracy in Fiji. Yet, they have blatantly declined those approaches. The SDL and NFP in particular in the context of the Forum yesterday have tried to derail the efforts of the Interim Government from taking the country forward by making baseless and insinuating comments.
I would like to make a personal plea to all those interested in taking the country forward not to be dissuaded by mischievous and cynical comments which were made at yesterday's Forum by Qarase and Rae.
Internally, the Interim Government is making steady progress in putting in place the necessary processes and preparatory work for Fiji's return to true parliamentary democracy in line with the commitments we have made to the International Community. We are also working very closely with the Fiji-Forum Joint Working Group in identifying assistances needed by Fiji to hold an Election and also providing regular updates on the progress made in meeting the integrated timelines and milestones established by the Independent Technical Assessment Team.
NCBBF and PCCPP initiatives are of equal priority to the Interim Government and work on these are running parallel to our preparatory work for the Elections. If Qarase and Rae are genuinely interested in helping us meet the timelines we have set, the offer for them to join the NCBBF and PCCPP initiatives are there for them to consider and accept.
With regards to allegations of corruption under leadership of the Interim Government, Qarase should be last one to talk about this as he is the one who plunged this country into mayhem of abuse, mismanagement and corrupt practices. The Interim Government is working tirelessly in cleaning this out and instead putting in place systems, processes, procedures and credible people to ensure that the people of Fiji henceforth receive full benefits of good governance and transparent policies and practices."
Commodore Bainimarama said that he will not be deterred by comments from people like Qarase and Rae in his resolve to build a better Fiji for all.