18 Jan 2013

Parties demand accountability from Fiji regime leaders

5:27 pm on 18 January 2013

Fiji's four main political parties and the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions have called on the Prime Minister and the Attorney General to disclose their incomes and assets to the nation.

In a joint statement, they want Commodore Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to make public what properties they have acquired since they staged the 2006 military coup.

It says in keeping with their oft-repeated calls for transparency and accountability, the two must declare their finances and assets and liabilities ahead of asking political parties and their officials to do so.

The statement says it is well known that official corruption is at an all-time high under the current administration.

It says the prime minister must also explain to the people why, as finance minister since 2008, he has refused to accede to repeated calls to publish government accounts and finances.

In reply, the information ministry has issued a statement to say the prime minister and the Attorney-General are not officials of a political party.

Two years ago, a coup co-conspirator, Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, who is now wanted for sedition, claimed the interim prime minister's taxpayer-funded annual salary was 400,000 US dollars.

The Information Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Sharon Smith-Johns, said at the time that the figure was wrong and that government would no longer go over the rumours to justify his pay.