4 Jun 2002

Solomons politicians deplores being misquoted

11:24 am on 4 June 2002

The leader of the Solomon Islands Labour Party has denied a Fiji Times report which quoted him as saying that Westminister style democracy won't work in the pacific.

Joses Tuhanuku says he was alarmed to discover that he was supposedly the source of this simplistic generalisation.

Mr Tuhanuku says at no time did he say, nor does he believe, that the Westminister system won't work in the pacific.

He says what he did say was the Westminister system can only work in the pacific if the region develops disciplined political parties.

Mr Tuhanuku says regional leaders should not blame the Westminister system for their inability to organise themselves politically.

He says its not beyond the capacity of South Pacific societies to develop such disciplined parties over time and eventually enjoy well-functioning democracies under a Westminister style of government.

Mr Tuhanuku says a fundamental element of such democracies is a free, fair and accurate press and he says the earlier report clearly misrepresented him.