7 Feb 2003

Fiji Democratic Party calls for compensation to those deposed in coup

4:20 pm on 7 February 2003

The Fiji Democratic Party has called for compensation to be paid to the deposed president, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, and government members who lost their positions in the May 2000 coup.

The party secretary-general, Filipe Bole, says Ratu Mara and members of the government deposed in the coup should be compensated for loss of income, prospects, opportunities and self-respect.

Mr Bole says these people were elected to these positions democratically before being annihilated, along with their aspirations and those of the people who elected them.

"The call is a straightforward one, these people lost their positions through the coup. They've got to be compensated somehow. For nothing else, it's the self-respect, you know - that could be cleared up by the court. But I should think the chances are fairly good.The people in Fiji, they are fairly democratic about these things and they'll sit down and discuss it."

Mr Bole says parliament should take up the case with the aim of returning to people the right to select their government representatives who should never lose power at the hands of usurpers.