18 Dec 2006

Fiji's Labour party calls for return to democratic rule

11:19 am on 18 December 2006

The Fiji Labour Party has called for the immediate return of democratic rule and the handing back of executive authority to President Iloilo.

The call comes after a meeting of the party's national council at the weekend.

The Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the party is mindful that the current crisis has its origins in concern over bad governance and endemic corruption, which set the nation on a path to virtual financial collapse.

Mr Chaudhry says the failure of proper checks and balances led the deposed government to forge ahead with unconstitutional and divisive legislation which seriously undermined the rule of law.

He says insensitive policies and taxation measures which heightened the suffering of the poor were a sure recipe for disaster

Mr Chaudhry says the governance of the nation must take on a new direction which would remove all repugnant features which characterized the past administration.

He says effective economic recovery and long term social well being can only be pegged on democracy and the rule of law, and the Labour Party is offering to help in every way possible to chart a roadmap for their return.