7 Sep 2007

Fiji's CCF says travel bans impediment to democracy

5:09 pm on 7 September 2007

The executive director of the Citizen's Constitutional Forum, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says the ban on travel by those associated with the interim regime is holding up the restoration of democratic government.

The CCF has said they do not see a need for the re-imposition of the public emergency regulations and want them lifted.

The Rev Yabaki says the latest version of the PER is not as draconian as before, and the country is still on course for democratic elections in 2009.

But he says the travel ban, one of the sanctions brought in by the New Zealand Government, has been effective, and it needs to be partially lifted because it is deterring effective people from helping the country's return to democracy.

"People who could be making a contribution. The bottom line is it is an unelected government. The legality of it is before the courts, it is for the courts to decide. You know, you can sing and dance about it, but the courts will make the decision at the end of the day, but we need effective people to be in the process, participate in the process."

Meanwhile, the former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says the ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase should be flattered that he has in a matter of days, and with just a few statements and his presence on Viti Levu, propelled himself from being insignificant and a non event to becoming the sole national security threat.