10 Jan 2012

Fiji Labour leader calls on regime to revoke Public Order Act

6:53 pm on 10 January 2012

The leader of the Fiji Labour Party has called on the interim government to revoke the Public Order Decree, which was published yesterday.

Mahendra Chaudhry says he is shocked at the decree which he says is highly repressive in nature and worse than the Public Emergency Regulations it replaced.

The new decree gives the military and police vast new powers and bans legal recourse for any action carried out under the decree.

Mr Chaudhry says the measures are unheard of, put Fiji on an altogether different level and are likely to damage its already ailing economy.

He says it's meaningless for those in power to compare the act with that in other countries.

"They forget that these countries have a functioning democracy. They have a parliament. They have a free media. In Fiji all this is not possible. We don't have a parliament. And therefore nobody's accountable for their actions etc and the military itself."

Mahendra Chaudhry says the issue is serious and Commodore Frank Bainimarama should be told what the people think about the act.

The interim government says the act is to prevent unrest of the kind seen in 2000 which led to the coup that ousted Mr Chaudhry.