28 May 2004

Fiji's SDL leader berates 'ravages of democracy'

10:15 am on 28 May 2004

The president of Fiji's ruling SDL party has strongly attacked democracy.

Ratu Kalokalo Loki says the economic and social problems faced by indigenous Fijians and Rotumans are the direct results "brought about by the ravages of democracy."

The Daily Post says Ratu Kalokalo made the comment during his opening address at annual general meeting of the SDL party now under way in Suva.

He says the SDL party no longer believes in a government of national unity.

Instead, Ratu Kalokalo says the party only subscribes to the idea of unity in diversity.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has also criticised the constitutional provision for a multi-party government, saying the idea is unworkable.

As well, Mr Qarase says it is better for indigenous Fijians to vote along racial lines because this would ensure they have a majority in the elections and form the government.