Thursday, August 07, 2008

Charter won't end coups: Ousted PM

Charter won't end coups: Ousted PM - 07/08/2008

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has described as ‘unreasonable’ the attempt by the interim Government in the draft People’s Charter to end the coup cycle.The Charter released yesterday by the National Council for Building a Better Fiji lists one of its recommendations as ‘To end the cycle of coups’.It noted that the courts be ‘empowered to penalize including orders of dissolution of political parties that engage in activities that breach important values of the Constitution’.But the former ruling Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party leader said, “that strategy is unreasonable”.“Coups are not caused by political parties but by people with evil intentions to cause treason.“They are caused by power-hungry people with no jobs but try to get power through illegal means,” Qarase told Fijilive this morning.“As long as there are these kind of people around, there will always be a possibility of coups.”On the proposal that a common name, ‘Fijian’ be adopted for all Fiji citizens, Qarase said the Constitution is very clear that ‘Fiji Islanders’ be the common name for all.“We already have a common name. It’s just that it has not been promoted and marketed both overseas and locally and that’s what the interim Government should do. “Citizens in the Solomons are known as Solomon Islanders, so are the Cook Islanders and the New Zealanders so why can’t we be recognised as Fiji Islanders?”He added we should stick to that because when the term ‘Fijian’ was first used, it referred to the indigenous population.“That term (Fijian) is embedded into the indigenous population. It is a very sensitive issue and it will be opposed very strongly,” Qarase said.

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