#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Support for regime: "Life under Mr Bainimarama not so bad"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Support for regime: "Life under Mr Bainimarama not so bad"

Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Voreque Bainimarama, is attracting diverse support, even as international criticism rains down on him.

Fiji has been at the centre of a storm over past few days after its Court of Appeal last Thursday ruled Commodore Bainimarama's regime was illegal under the 1997 constitution.

In response President Ratu Josefa Iloilo sacked the judges, dissolved the constitution, ruled out any election for five years and removed Cdre Bainimarama, then reappointed him.

The military took over the Reserve Bank and sacked Governor Savenaca Narbue. Local media are being censored, and international media expelled.

New Zealand and Australia already have trade and travel sanctions in place against Fiji, which is set to become even more isolated.

But Commodre Bainimarama has plenty of support for his moves to replace the constitution with a charter.

Emails sent to the freefiji@newspapers.co.nz address set up by New Zealand's Newspapers Publishers Association, following the Fijian military's media clampdown, are showing support for his actions.

Collin McKenny, 65, an American who has lived in Fiji since 1997, says Fiji had never had democracy so it could not be restored.

"How can you be 'democratic' when people can only vote for a member of their own race?" she says.

Commodore Bainimarama wants to implement by 2014 a charter which would allow one person, one vote.

It was a pity he was the military leader, as that sent out a negative message, but Ms McKenny hopes he can make the world understand democracy is not possible under the 1997 constitution.

"The Charter WILL create democracy (as much as possible with the chiefly system)," says the Lomalagi Resort owner.

Fijian Indian, Anita Thomas, wrote that New Zealand and Australia should get in and help out, rather than whinge about the loss of democracy from the sidelines.

"Life under Mr Bainimarama is not so bad as always portrayed in NZ or Australia," she said.

"Prices are now coming down to affordable levels, crime is dropping, it is now safer for Indians to walk the streets at night."

This was not the case under the previous regime, when the government was ruled by corrupt politicians, she says.

Harish Chand echoed those views, saying with New Zealand and Australian help "Mr PM will salvage Fiji out of all trouble, with a corrupt-free Fiji".

"I will support him as he is a true son of Fiji."

Pacific specialist, Associate Professor Hugh Laracy from Auckland University, told NewstalkZB there was not enough understanding of how Commodore Bainimarama got to be where he is.

His coup in 2006 was different to the three previous ones, because he had an agenda and it was a reaction to a regime which had left Fiji in a mess.

Commodore Bainimarama was trying to get away from an arrangement that privileged one section of the community, and bring about equal citizenship.

He believed the interim prime minister had Fiji's best interests at heart.

Stuff and Newstalk ZB


Andrew Thornley said...

At the core of the issue in Fiji is the commitment to democracy and the rejection of military rule as a viable alternative.
By stipulating the need for a further five years of military rule, the Commodore has clearly displayed his contempt for the feelings of most people in Fiji.
Prolonged military rule will only further entrench ongoing corruption among the elite. Democracy is the only system that permits the necessary transparency which allows for accountable political rule. In Fiji's case, the country is rapidly returning to the "rule of the club" that existed before 1874, when the code of the warrior was supreme and ordinary people suffered great hardships with individual lives regarded as worthless

Anonymous said...

Too Bloody Right Andrew. As for all those supporters of Frank who are saying he's the greatest thing to happen to Fiji since the advent of sliced bread I say you must be living on another planet. How about you come back home and see how hard it is to run a business when Investors are being scared away by the unstable political climate, created by none other than the Proverbial Village Idiot Frankie B. As for that Lomailagi Resort Owner we all know she was no fan of the Qarase government with their Qoliqoli Bill which could've spelt out a hefty financial payout to landowners for use of the Sea. If those people think that crime has gone down they should come to Lami where I live, we've had to start a neighbourhood watch to protect ourselves from the increasing break ins while the Police down the road are busy staging an all night evangelical Crusade. A case of misplaced opportunities perhaps? Rather a case of the mental patients running the hospital.

Anonymous said...

Just what is this "true democracy" that its worth a coup by the military displacing a government elected by the will of the people just for the purpose of some much fancied electoral reforms? And when the Courts say to Bainimarama, go back to barracks, its illegal; can "true democracy" justify the trashing of the Constitution?