21 Jun 2002

Strong reaction to claims that Fiji's interim administration abused farming assistance scheme

10:22 am on 21 June 2002

There's outrage in Fiji after allegations in a High Court writ that millions of dollars were spent by interim cabinet ministers to buy votes in last year's general election.

The Labour Party has called for the poll results to be declared null and void.

The leader of the United General Party, Mick Beddoes, says the court proceedings ensuing from the writ will result in the truth being established.

The Fiji Trades Union Congress says all those implicated must come clean and be prepared to answer questions in an independent public inquiry.

The Citizen's Constitutional Forum says the allegations in the writ raise serious questions on issues of transparency and accountability.

The CCF says in a parliamentary democracy where the rule of law is respected, the ministers should resign because they directed a very senior civil servant to engage in corrupt activities.

Its director, the Rev Aquila Yabaki, says in the public eye the ministers are already guilty.

But the ministers named in the writ have chosen not to comment, saying they will leave it to the courts to decide.