10 Feb 2012

Fiji's Chaudhry deplores banana republic style decree

8:10 am on 10 February 2012

The Fiji Labour Party leader says the latest anti-defamation decree brings the country closer to being a banana republic.

Mahendra Chaudhry says the State Proceedings Amendment Decree is a ridiculous attempt to create parliamentary privilege when there is no parliament in Fiji.

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.

However Mr Chaudhry says those in power are just trying to protect themselves and the media still has a threat hanging over them.

"So this is what one might see happening in banana republic and I'm afraid Fiji is clearly getting down to that stage. I don't know why they want this kind of protection against their political opponents and we're supposed to be heading towards general elections. But the actions of this government indicate that they are not serious about holding democratic elections."

.

Mahendra Chaudhry says he hopes the media behaves responsibly and doesn't get involved in unethical practice.