28 Sep 2007

Former Fiji PM says free speaking by SDL party could lead to instability

9:33 am on 28 September 2007

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says the SDL party is no longer in power and shouldn't be given the freedom to make public statements that could destabilize the nation.

Fiji TV reports that Mr Rabuka was commenting on the fact that the current Public Emergency Regulations were put in place specifically to counter the activities and statements of the SDL.

Mr Rabuka says while he welcomes the report that the Emergency Regulations will be lifted next week, he has reservations on what that freedom will mean to the SDL party.

He says this freedom can be interpreted as a threat to national security.

He says the SDL still enjoys a lot of support and whatever the party says could result in unwanted activities by its supporters which could undermine stability.

Mr Rabuka says rightly or wrongly, the SDL is no longer in power and they should not enjoy the same freedom as others because it could destabilize the nation by its utterances.

The former prime minister suggests that instead of imposing the Public Emergency Regulations covering everybody, the interim administration may have done better to take out a court injunction to restrict what the SDL could do and say.