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Repeal decrees, says Opposition

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

OPPOSITION member Professor Biman Prasad has challenged the Government to repeal some decrees that were implemented after the December 5, 2006 coup.

Prof Prasad offered the challenge while contributing to a motion filed by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, seeking parliamentary approval for Fiji to rejoin the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

While commending the PM's motion to rejoin the IPU, Prof Prasad said democracy could not be strengthened if Fiji had Section 173 in the Constitution.

"You cannot strengthen democracy if you have Section 173 in the Constitution which says that all the decrees that was used by the previous governments to govern from December 2006 until the last decree before the Parliament sat is all intact," he said.

"I want to say to the PM that perhaps as a Parliament, as a country it is time for us to look at some of the decrees, in particular the Media Decree which is very draconian, the Political Parties Decree, Electoral Decree and if we want to bring genuine democracy which the PM quite rightly talks about, we need to look at Section 173 (4) (C)."

Prof Prasad said it would be courageous of the Prime Minister to set up a parliamentary committee to review some of the decrees.

"Let this Parliament repeal some of these decrees and that's when we will be part of a bigger global community.

"When we talk about strengthening democratic institutions, the Prime Minister has a real opportunity to leave a legacy for this country but we all believe that we are making a start," he said.

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