22 Sep 2006

Public pressure forces Fiji's government to backtrack on two bills

7:15 am on 22 September 2006

Strong public pressure has forced the Fiji government to backtrack on its controversial Broadcasting Licensing and Employment Relations Bills.

Both Bills have now gone back to cabinet for major amendments before they resurface in parliament much later in the year, possibly by December.

Fiji TV reports that this follows weeks of public submissions and intense public debate on various provisions in both Bills.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says his government is obliged to acknowledge the strong feelings expressed by the public and stakeholders.

Mr Qarase says the large number of amendments now required in both Bills makes it necessary to take them back to cabinet for urgent changes.