25 Jan 2013

Labour again challenges Fiji regime pay secrecy

1:44 pm on 25 January 2013

The Fiji Labour Party has issued a statement to challenge renewed regime claims that it pays ministers through the finance ministry.

While justifying the secrecy surrounding his taxpayer-funded salary, the attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, refused to disclose his income and also dismissed claims by the main political parties and unions which said his pay was handled by his aunt.

He said he and the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, were not officials of a political party and therefore not obliged to divulge their pay.

The Labour Party says its inquiries show that three years ago, the treasury ceased making ministerial pays which it says are now managed by a firm run by the attorney general's aunt.

The party also says the regime unsuccessfully tried to shut down the party website in 2010 after failing to get releases removed which the regime considered to be speculative and defamatory.

In refusing to be accountable, Labour says, it is obvious that in the Attorney-General's books the law is not equal for everyone.