|Political parties: no one off permits. pic FijiLive|
|Unions: no one off permits either. pic Fiji Live|
The big stick, though, is still being wielded on political parties and unions who will need to apply for a permit if they want to gather, with the regime admiting it would probably reject the request.
It claims a one-off permit will help facilitate and encourage public discussions on Constitutional Consultations and recognizes the important role NGOs and Civil Society Groups play in the process.
So political parties and unions are not important? To the contrary. In recent months, the regime has spent considerable effort trying to undermine both groups so the decision to make things difficult for them is because it fears their power.
To get the permit, NGO’s and Civil Society Groups will need to apply to the Commissioner of Police then once they have it, will need to inform him of the place and time of meeting at least 48 hours before they intend to meet.
The one-off permit comes with the warning that any organisation that breaches the Public Order Act by 'prejudicing peace, compromising public safety and good order, engaging in racial or religious vilification, or undermining or sabotaging the economy or financial integrity of Fiji' will be immediately stopped from holding meetings and any subsequent meetings.
But where does one draw the line about what it can or cannot say or discuss?
As with its other decisions in the past, the regime will probably make its own rules about whether one has broken the Public Act or not.