FICAC

Proof the left wing don’t respect democracy

The left wing in New Zealand, ably assisted by a biased media have constantly harped on about Fiji holding elections, returning to democracy and doubting that Frank Bainimarama would even hold elections.

Well he has, they were free and fair and he won!

So what do they now say?

Malcolm Harbrow shows just exactly what the left wing actually thinks about democracy:

Fijians went to the polls yesterday in the first democratic elections in eight years. And with slightly more than half the ballots counted, it looks like they’ve given dictator Voreqe Bainimarama a clear majority. There’s been no allegations of fraud, so it looks like the result is the clear will of the Fijian people.

I’m appalled. I thought Fijians were better than that. Bainimarama seized power at gunpoint, silenced the media, and used intimidation, beatings and torture to retain power. And Fijians voted for him? I guess you get the government you deserve…

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Whale in Fiji: Christopher Pryde

I recently spent a week in Fiji. I have become sick of reading stories in our media that didn’t gel with people I have been talking with in Fiji.

So I thought I would go up to Fiji and see how I got on with trying to speak to some of the key people in Fiji.

I was able to obtain interviews with Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji’s Attorney-General, with Pio Tikoduadua, Permanent Secretary – Office of the Prime Minister and with Christopher Pryde who is currently the Director of Public Prosecutions.

I was given free access with absolutely no restrictions on what I could talk about or ask. Readers will see in coming interviews that I publish the wide-ranging topics that I was able to cover.

As I mentioned in an earlier post access was easy to gain, I simply asked, and walked in thorough minimal security. I certainly saw no armed military anywhere. Even on the 4th floor of New Wing Government Buildings where a cabinet meeting was in progress in the next room I was able to access the floor without any of the security palaver that I have experienced gaining access to just Parliament in New Zealand.

I have previously blogged guest posts from Christopher Pryde about the Law Society blocking advertisements for staff. I wanted to explore some aspects of that more.

Here is the video of my discussion with Christopher Pryde, where I discuss everything from the “smart sanctions” and how they have affect the fair dispensing of justice in Fiji. I also discussed the various warnings I received from media in New Zealand about my safety and the like. We also discussed Phil Goff’s statement about Fiji needing a free and indepedent judiciary before being welcomed back into the South Pacific Forum.

The improvement in women’s protection under the law with regard to domestic violence was interesting and also the Child Welfare Decree and also the new law preventing discrimination on the basis of HIV status. So far from restricting human rights in Fiji the government has in fact extended human rights to cover women, extended gay right, decriminalising homosexual relations and protecting those with a positive HIV status.

The prosecution of Laisenia Qarase for corruption was also discussed.

I found Christopher Pryde to be engaging and open. When I return to Fiji I will follow up with any additional questions that may come up in comments.

The focus in Fiji on knocking corruption on the head is interesting. They have establish the FICAC and there are signs everywhere asking people to report corruption. Their website shows just what sort of progress is being made. New Zealand still lacks an Independent Commission Against Corruption and we have the temerity to lecture Fiji on internal politics.

Tomorrow I will blog about my discussion with Pio Tikoduadua.

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