16 Aug 2002

Commonwealth rejects FLP criticism

11:22 am on 16 August 2002

The Commonwealth secretary general, Don McKinnon, has rejected criticism by the Fiji Labour Party that it was deliberately left out of an international conference on democracy in Nadi.

He says the conference had only one government and one opposition MP from each country.

And he says the Commonwealth secretariat was informed that the FLP did not consider itself an opposition party.

But Mr Chaudhry now says his party has been forced into the opposition by an unconstitutional government.

Mr McKinnon also says the recent events in the Pacific have tainted its image of peace and tranquility.

He says the two pillars of peace are stability and economic growth.