The politicians on both sides of the house and the Media party are having kittens over what has happened in Fiji with the arrest and detainment of opposition politicians and union ratbags in Fiji.
Everyone seems to be blaming Fiji PM Bainimarama from David Shearer to Murray McCully and of course the idiots in the Media party like Sally rounds and Michael Field.
None of them live in Fiji, are in Fiji or understand how Fijian judicial processes work. They simply move to their anti-Bainimarama default position and rant and rave. Worse still are their editors of those in the Media party who allow this carry-on.
One should remember that these are domestic Fijian issues. Fiji doesn’t comment on our domestic politics, and they could, given the precedent set by various governments here. Since this current issue is about electoral law Fiji should ask why it is that not a single politician has ever been charged under our electoral law despite hundreds of complaints being referred to them by the Electoral Commission over the past twelve years. These complaints include sign vandalisation, over spending, non-reporting of electoral expenses and various other clear breaches of electoral law. These laws are important they govern what can and can’t be done in seeking election and are the core of our democracy. But the NZ Police are sending a clear message to ratbag politicians that they can act with impunity, breaching electoral laws willy-nilly.
In Fiji it is somewhat different. Their Police actually take action and that is what has happened here.
As we heard some politicians and a unionist were arrested and detained by police in Fiji. The police received credible evidence of a possible breach of the law and investigated. That is the duty of the police. They must investigate and they cannot ignore the law like the NZ Police do frequently. All of the detainees were released without charge and even the Commissioner for Human Rights Ashwin Raj said they there had been no breach of their human rights. All of those detained admitted they were treated well.
The investigation files have now been sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who will decide if any law has been broken. For those who don’t know the DPP is a New Zealand lawyer. This is a non-political decision-making process as the DPP reports, not to the PM, or the Attorney-General, but rather to the President of Fiji.
Basically, this has got nothing to do with the PM or the government. The police received credible evidence of a possible breach of the law and investigated. They have passed their investigation details to the DPP who will now decide if charge should or should not be laid.
Of course, all of that could have easily been avoided is someone had just taken five minutes to fill in a form to obtain a permit.
David Shearer, Murray McCully and the Media party should all climb down off their high-horses, stop meddling in Fijian domestic politics and let the democratic rule of law follow its process.
It is an absolute disgrace that no one in media here in New Zealand has bothered to ascertain basic facts about Fiji’s judicial and criminal justice system and instead embark on mad rants about democracy and the Fijian PM.
As is usual the facts do not fit the narrative.