25 Oct 2010

Solomons opposition fears Fiji chairmanship of MSG would legitimise regime

8:09 pm on 25 October 2010

The Solomon Islands deputy opposition leader says that to give Fiji the chairmanship of the Melanesian Spearhead Group now would be to wrongly legitimise an undemocratic regime.

Matthew Wale's comment comes as a special meeting in Honiara to resolve the impasse over the MSG chairmanship was postponed until next month.

The Solomons Prime Minister reportedly wants more time to consult on the proposed plan to hand over the chairmanship from Vanuatu to Fiji via Solomon Islands.

Vanuatu's government opposes Fiji chairing the body because it says giving the position to an unelected government is unconstitutional.

Mr Wale supports this view and says it's right that Fiji remain a full member of the MSG.

"I think the chairmanship should keep rotating but that it should rotate past Fiji and ideally, [Commodore Frank] Bainimarama should accept that for now and keep working within the MSG platform so that there is maximum dialogue and communication within MSG but also through that, within the Pacific Islands Forum - that is important."

Meanwhile, the secretary to the office of Fiji's Prime Minister, Colonel Pio Tikoduadua has criticised Matthew Wale's comment that Commodore Bainimarama wants MSG countries to bow to his demands.

He told FijiLive the comment is unwarranted and that Fiji has had nothing to do with the meeting's postponement.