PM: Work with me

PRIME Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama has extended a hand of friendship to all his political opponents, calling on them to put aside their differences and work constructively to improve the lives of every Fijian when the new Parliament convenes on October 6.This was his message while addressing world leaders at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday.

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji was enjoying the most sustained period of economic growth in its history.

“The possibility to create more jobs and raise the living standards of our people has never been greater. Let us join hands to put our nation first,” he said.

The PM said Fiji has had a long and traumatic journey in the 44 years since independence with four coups, a rebellion, four constitutions and 56 days of shame in 2000 when members of Parliament were held hostage.

“Fiji has struggled to be unified and cohesive, our development retarded by our inability to think and work as one nation, one people. But with this election, we have put that era firmly behind us.

“In our new democracy, we are all Fijians, not members of separate ethnic and religious groups,” he said.

“And having established a common and equal citizenry, along with a secular state, we intend to move forward together to finally fulfil our promise as a nation, to fulfil our destiny.”

Member of Opposition and NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad welcomed the PM’s statement saying he had finally come out of his political campaign and said the right thing.

“The election is over and we have a Parliament. We should now start building a genuine democracy,” Prof Prasad said.

He claimed the progress towards building a genuine democracy would only happen when the media in the country was free.

“The government should remove the Media Decree and all decrees that will stop the flourishing of democratic institutions,” he said.

He said the convening of the Parliament was the first step of removing restrictive decrees.