12 Dec 2008

Fiji's deposed Prime Minister rejects claims of sweeping support for People's Charter

3:45 pm on 12 December 2008

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister has rubbished claims that more than 90 per cent of the population support the draft People's Charter.

The National Council for Building a Better Fiji reports that 92.5 percent of people have agreed with the pillars of the People's Charter.

But Laisenia Qarase says the process of obtaining that number has been corrupt, with officials using intimidation and bribery.

"There has been no independent verification of the whole process and also the verification of the forms that are returned and so on the only valid way of assessing or determining the views of the people is through a secret ballot via a referendum."

Laisenia Qarase.

Last week the interim Government admitted it is having difficulty convincing people to back the draft charter, and gave officials in the Western Division an additional week to achieve the targetted 80 percent of support.

They say the overall figure for the region has support at 55 percent.