World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Chaudhry Slams 'Dictator' Move

Chaudhry Slams 'Dictator' Move, Considers Court Action

By ANDREA WAQA: September 12, 2001 Wansolwara Online

SUVA: Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry attacked the swearing in of Laisenia Qarase's cabinet ministers today, accusing him of acting like a "dictator" and above the law.

He said Labour would "most probably" take the issue to the Court of Appeal.

Indo-Fijian MPs were left out of the cabinet while two ministers were appointed from the ultra-nationalist Conservative Alliance.

The alliance supports coup frontman George Speight who is detained on Nukulau Island, off Suva, on treason charges.

"Qarase is acting like a dictator, he is blatantly and defying the constitution. He has no respect and regard for the rule of law," he said.

He said Fiji was becoming like a "little Indonesia" in the Pacific where the country was run by corrupt politicians backed by the military.

Chaudhry also denied a claim by Qarase that Labour had made unacceptable conditions for joining a multi-party government, saying he had made no conditions.

"I don't think that there is any sane reason why we were excluded. It is simply an excuse to keep us out," Chaudhry said.

"To my mind it seems that there is perhaps an attempt to cover up the 14 months of mismanagement and the scam that his government has been scandalised with.

"We all know that millions of dollars of public funds have been very lavishly spent by the Qarase regime and election irregularities that have not yet been exposed."

Chaudhry said that FLP's exclusion was also part of Qarase's "racist" stand and he had marginalised the Indon-Fijians, the 44 percent of the population who had voted for Labour.

"The will of the people has been subverted by one individual who is acting like a dictator and if people walk along the streets they will find that 90 percent of the people do not like Qarase."

Chaudhry said that Labour would play it cool while at the same time reactivate its international campaign.

"The Commonwealth and the United Nations must realise that unless they make a very firm stand the people of Fiji will continue to suffer at the hands of the dictators," Chaudhry said.

The Labour Party has confirmed that they by next week it would invoke the swearing in of the cabinet and most probably take up the issue in the Court of Appeal.

Before the swearing in of Qarase's cabinet ministers, he wrote a letter to the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, asking him not to participate and witness the ceremony as it was unconstitutional.

Under the 1997 Constitution section 99(3) the Prime Minister is expected to establish a multi-party cabinet. In section 99(5), the Prime Minister must invite any party that holds more than 10 percent of the seats.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Science Media Centre: New South Wales Opens Up For Fully-vaccinated – Aus SMC Expert Reaction
Sydney has partially eased Covid-19 restrictions for fully-vaccinated individuals after NSW reached its target of 70 per cent of the population double-dosed. The Australian Science Media Centre has asked experts about the possible risks of the country opening up again...More>>

Nobel Peace Prize: Journalists Who ‘Speak Truth To Power’ Recognized

Two campaigning journalists were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres said was recognition that a free press is “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights – and the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions”...

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>

COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>

UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>