18 May 2012

Fiji Labour Party rejects regime claim of racist agenda

2:00 pm on 18 May 2012

The leader of Fiji's Labour Party says there is no truth to a claim by the interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, that the country's political parties have always contested elections along racial lines.

Mr Sayed Khaiyum told Radio New Zealand International that Fiji politicians are like fish out of water because they are not used to campaigning on national issues.

But Mahendra Chaudhry says the primary reason for establishing the Labour Party was to make Fiji politics multiracial.

"And every election that we have fought since then, every manifesto we have written since then, has been focused on the people of Fiji, not on any particular race or ethnicity or any sector or group, and Mr Khaiyum is deliberately distorting this fact or ignoring this fact."

Mahendra Chaudhry also says despite Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum's statements to the contrary, it is well known in Fiji that the country's military leaders are forming a political party to contest the 2014 election.