5 Dec 2002

Fiji Labour Party to boycott debate on development plan

7:25 pm on 5 December 2002

The Fiji Labour Party says it will not take part in the Parliamentary dedate on the SDL Government's 20 year development plan for indigenous Fijians and Rotumans.

A Radio Fiji report says Labour MP, Poseci Bune, has told Parliament that the 265 page development plan is too important to be rushed through Parliament in two days without adequate scrutiny by Parliamentarians.

Mr Bune says each of the many sections of the plan would require one whole day's debate and that is why Labour had requested a special sitting of Parliament in January so both sides of the House can benefit from an informed debate.

Mr Bune said by rushing through the plan, the government was showing how insensitive it was to the opposition in the House, who represent nearly half the population and their right to a fair hearing and informed debate.

But speaking in Fijian, the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, said nothing would change the truth that the indigenous Fijians are the true owners of Fiji.

Mr Qarase said the Fiji labour Party should understand that the Government will proceed with the 20 year development plan for indigenous Fijians to bridge the gap with other communities.