17 May 2005

Reconciliation Bill will lead to more overthrows of governments, says party

8:19 am on 17 May 2005

Fiji's National Federation Party says the Qarase government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill will lead to further overthrows of democratically-elected governments.

The NFP's president, Dorsami Naidu, has told Fiji TV that the present justice system is perfectly capable of dealing with coup perpetrators who have committed criminal acts.

He says the Bill shouldn't be promoted, nor should it have provisions for amnesty for what are described as politically motivated crimes.

The Bill will set up a commission with powers to fast-track amnesty for coup convicts like George Speight, erase their criminal records and give immunity to those suspects not yet tried.

Mr Naidu has urged the government to look at the repercussions of the Bill overseas.

He says overseas countries and investors will form the impression that the Fiji government is supporting and condoning the May 2000 coup.

Mr Naidu says the Bill is saying that if someone doesn't like the government, instead of going to the ballot box that person should take the law into his own hands and overthrow the government because he'll be given amnesty.