9 Feb 2012

Fiji Labour leader labels latest decree ridiculous

1:00 pm on 9 February 2012

The leader of Fiji's Labour Party says the new decree preventing people from suing those in power for defamation is ridiculous.

Mahendra Chaudhry says the new State Proceedings Amendment Decree means those who are slandered by the un-elected government cannot take any action in court to sue for defamation or libel.

Mr Chaudhry says Fiji is becoming like a banana republic and he doesn't know why the regime wants this kind of protection against its political opponents.

The interim government says the decree will restore a level playing field and protect media outlets during the lead-up to parliamentary polls promised in 2014.

But Mr Chaudhry says this kind of action indicates the interim government is not serious about holding democratic elections.

"It's quite ridiculous this decree is claiming privileges for an un elected government and Ministers and the Prime Minister can make any statement denigrating or running down their political opponents."

Fiji's Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry.