21 Jan 2013

Fiji government accuses parties of clutching at straws to avoid decree

6:39 am on 21 January 2013

Fiji's interim government says the country's four major political parties are clutching at straws in a desperate bid to avoid complying with a new decree.

The decree, regulating political parties, sees them have to sign up 5000 members by the middle of next month, and bans unionists from joining parties.

The four political parties and the Council of Trade Unions, under the name United Front for a Democratic Fiji, have issued a joint statement called on the Prime Minister and the Attorney General to disclose their incomes and assets to the nation.

In its second statement since that call, the government says it does not and will not engage in political bickering.

It says further laws are being developed to ensure greater standards of accountability and transparency.

The government says previous governments which have consisted of or were supported by the members of the UFDF, have failed to do so.

It says the statement by the UFDF demonstrates how they relish and thrive in political bickering without having a principled approach.