1 Apr 2004

Fiji Democratic Party attacks PM's "democracy" comments

11:46 am on 1 April 2004

The Fiji Democratic Party has called on the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, not to use democracy to create fear for political gain.

The party leader and longtime former cabinet minister and deputy prime minister, Filipe Bole, made the call after Mr Qarase told a New Zealand audience that Fiji was not a liberal democracy and may never be.

Mr Bole says Mr Qarase's suggestion that the 2000 coup was somehow caused by the freedom of liberal democracy was proved to be wrong.

Mr Bole says democracy is a concept of governance accepted everywhere in the world.

Also there is only one model which encourages freedom, equality and the rights of people.

Mr Bole says it is through liberal democracy that commoners (like Mr Qarase) are elected into positions of leadership in competition with their traditional and chiefly leaders.

He says Mr Qarase's remarks are disturbing and international bodies like the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the European Union should wake up and take notice.