26 Aug 2013

Fiji Labour Party slams Australian FM's comments on constitution

7:09 pm on 26 August 2013

The Fiji Labour Party says it's extremely disappointed with the statement from Australia's Foreign Minister Bob Carr welcoming the release of the Fiji regime's new constitution.

Senator Carr issued a statement saying that Australia would continue to encourage a constitutional process which results in a credible election including through freedom of expression and assembly.

In a release, the Fiji Labour Party says the Carr statement is appalling, saying it is naive for anyone to assume that this constitutional process will lead to free and fair elections or that Fiji enjoys freedom of expression and assembly, let alone media freedom.

The FLP questions how Australia can welcome a document that undermines universal tenets of democracy, and continues what it calls the regime's draconian and repressive decrees denounced by the international community.

The Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry says the new constitution completely politicises the military, the public service and the judiciary.

He says a number of its provisions on human and workers' rights are in flagrant breach of the UN's International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and other international conventions.