19 Feb 2013

Fiji Political Parties Decree amendment tightens up on media

1:47 pm on 19 February 2013

The media in Fiji are facing tighter restrictions on political reporting after changes to the Political Parties Decree.

The interim government has brought in amendments which will also further affect workers' representatives and the former SDL party.

The changes mean news organisations now face up to five years in jail and a 28,000 US dollar fine if they report on organisations purporting to be a political party without being registered.

The political groups that haven't wound up already face the same restriction and punishment as they wait to be registered.

The latest rules also mean that one of Fiji's former main parties, the SDL, which has proposed reforming under a new name but with the same acronym, is now prevented from doing so.

The changes also tighten up on the definition of an officer in trade union and employers' groups.

This is likely to further bar the way to workers' official representatives from being involved in the 2014 elections.