16 Jan 2013

FLP says new decree is to pave way for Fiji regime party

6:46 pm on 16 January 2013

The leader of Fiji's Labour Party says the new political party decree is an attempt to stifle opposition to the regime.

The decree gives existing parties 28 days to re-register under new terms, or they face being wound up.

Parties will have to have 5,000 signed-up members across the country's four divisions, up from the current 180, and pay about 3,000 US dollars to register.

Mahendra Chaudhry says the regime seems to be fearful of mounting opposition.

"That's why they want to make it very difficult for political parties, trade unions and civil society organisations, which are opposed to what's happening in Fiji. They want to silence them so the can have a clear run [in the] 2014 elections. We all know that they are intending to form a political party of their own and run for elections, but I think before then they want to demolish all other political parties and opposition."

Mahendra Chaudhry says it will be impossible for parties to sign up 5,000 members when there has been no political activity allowed for six years.