SDL says Fiji name change requirement is ridiculous

Fiji's SDL party says forcing it to change its name is a ridiculous requirement of the new decree on political parties.

The decree states political parties must register their names in English within 28 days or they will be wound up.

The party's spokesperson, Tupeni Baba, says the party is claiming it has the right to continue calling itself Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua and will see what the regime does.

The decree also requires parties to have 5,000 members to register, which Dr Baba says is inhibitive for all parties.

"It's quite clear from that that the attempt by the regime, unelected regime, is to deprive parties from being registered. Rather than being facilitative, and support a return to democracy. That's very transparent, in the sense that they'd like to hold on as long as they can."

Dr Tupeni Baba says getting 5000 members signed up within the time frame will be very difficult, as will being able to pay the more than 3,000 US dollar fee.

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