The Soqosoqo Ni Who Party?

By Crosbie Walsh

In August 1939  German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. Stalin wrote to Hitler expressing the hope the Pact would "mark a decisive turn for the better in the political relations between our two countries."  But both sides saw the Pact as a temporary expedient as they prepared for war. So too with Chaudhry and any reciprocal moves by Qarase.

Chaudhry's decision to "join hands [with the SDL...]to front and campaign against the government" has similarities to the Nazi-Soviet Pact. It reads well but that is all. Chaudhry's record suggest his move is motivated more by a determination to return to power than it is to salvage "the country from a government which suppresses the people through despotism."

"We have to save the country," says Chaudhry. "Whatever is happening here is before all of us. We have a government which dictates to the people, people don’t have freedom of speech for the past three years, political parties and people could not meet. People were made slaves so in this sort of situation we have to get together and oppose this. Political parties always have their differences. This is not new but we need to get together to get the country out of danger because we think more about the future of this country so we can’t sing different tunes, we have to get together and sing the same tune."

There is, however, a silent irony in Chaudhry's appeal. His arrogance and insensitivity to the feelings of itaukei were a major factor that played into the hands of the racists who mounted the 2000 Speight Coup. And Qarase's betrayal of Bainimarama's trust after this coup when he got into bed with the Speight plotters, rather than bringing them to justice, and his subsequent disciminatory legislation, were major factors that produced a wave of public support than helped Bainimarama to seize power in 2006. 

So, in these respects, Chaudhry helped produce the 2000 Coup and Qarase the 2006 Coup.  And now these gentlemen are holding hands to return things to what they probably consider "normal".  The normal adversary style of politics; the normal insensitivity to other ethnic groups and other religious beliefs; the normal perks and nepotism of office; the normal practices that could produce yet another coup.

If they genuinely wish to save the country, they would co-operate with Prof Yash Ghai's Constitution Commission and stand aside for a new generation of politicians, less tarnished by their personal histories.

Chaudhry's proposal for another round of President Political Dialogues should be seen for what it is.  He blew its possibilities  last time.  He has given no signs of a change of heart since.  The message remains:  "I Chaudhy. Never mind Fiji."

Supporters of the FLP and SDL should know that  this latest move to derail the Constitution reform process is not going to happen.  It may not be perfect, but the best way forward is to support and take part in the current reform process.

Comments

Anonymous said…
and what is your defense of the regime in appointing these two people in the first place? What sort of judgement , following your own argument, does that show? Can i just clarify they are still as yet not convicted of anything before the courts, and what on earth requires them to save fiji?!?
The military has left no room for others in 'Saving Fiji'.
sister saras said…
I think it is a blessing in disguise that MC & LQ have proposed a marriage of convenience. I am sure the new constitution will address such low lifes who are in there for themselves. All the hard work done by Frank & Co. will go to waste should either of these morons be in govt. This marriage is a perfect recipe for another coup, because we know these two so well. The best they can do is call it quits for the sake of our beloved nation. These racist parties should go the same way as the GCC. It is very important to do this before it is too late.
Anonymous said…
Crosbie; who are you to lecture the leaders on what decisions to make? its for the people to decide these things not you please.
Anonymous said…
You sound like a caveman, away from the light of civilization. By your choice you will remain intolerant, ignorant and insular. Crosbie has shed more light on this sensitive issue than you and the likes of you choose to acknowledge. You are the product of darkness and it is your choice to remain there but for God's sake do not deny others the right to be nourished by fair exchange of views. But then who are you to question Crosbie? You don't appear to be a great advocate of democracy but an opportunist who would rather bark to intimidate people, knowing that it is the last weapon left in your armory!
Anonymous said…
The way MC & LQ are heading is the recipe for another coup which the people of Fiji will support should they come back.
Anonymous said…
We can expect the same from fijians...a complete disinterest and indolence. There was never any sort of uprising, revolution, or even demonstrations prior to the last coups, why on earth would you think these people will actually mobilize to do anything! I hardly think ,given the total ambivalence, the regime can claim to be saving anyone, except themselves. There are no stakeholders, just hostages.
Mahen 'Champion of the poor' Chaudhry said…
Mahen projected himself as champion of the poor and Mr Clean. That's what he built his whole career on. However, as it turned out, he was the biggest hypocrite in Fiji politics.

He practised nepotism by giving his son a job and his in-law, Sachida Sharma, a senate seat. A Labour senator was forced to vacate his seat to make way for Mahen's pariwaar (family). This is how Mahen treats members of his party.

As PM he used state funds to renovate his house. Can you imagine the kind of storm mahen would have kicked up if someone other politician had done that? The same rules and morals do not apply to this fraud, it seems.

To see him now, going about, pontficating, is sickening.

Pretended to collect money for poor but stashed it in his bank account. He is not even ashamed to show his face after being caught out. As finance minister he talked tough about on tax dodgers but was doing exactly that himself. What a hypocrite!

He was all for the coup until kicked out and charged for tax evasion. Now, like the rat he is, he looking for a way out of the tax evasion charges. has returned to the tried and tested method of getting gullible people to support him. There many who will stupidly and blindly support this man. They deserve him.

This man through his greed, ambition and dishonesty has dome ore damage to Fiji and Indo-Fijians then anyone else.

As PM he was hopeless and so arrogant that he did not see a coup that was staring him straight in the face.

lasted only one year in power - so much for being an astute politician and good leader. A small-minded, petty, selfish arrogantly stupid little man who as PM behaved like a child in a lolly store, is more like it.
Cin Cin said…
You're drawing a long bow, aren't you Croz? The comparison is a tad bit extreme. Though in some circles the destruction of this regime and all it stands for is probably quite an honourable exercise.

If past performance was a criteria for participation then Frank and most members of the regime wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the starting blocks. Certainly the economic credentials of Chaudhry would qualify him automatically. Lining ones own pockets may be considered a qualification in the officers mess at QE Barracks but as Fijis' growth figures for the last 5 years show, it doesn't necesarily qualify one to develop and implement policy and run a country.

Surely the voters of Fiji should be the ones to decide if Chaudhry and Qarase have any place in a future Fiji?
lock up the both of them said…
Laisenia Qarase raised the prospect of the reintroduction of the Qoliqoli Bill if the SDL ever makes it back to government. Is he also planning to reintroduce the Reconciliation and Unity Bill?

Will I get to have a beer at the Defence Club with George Speight after all, when Lai and his new pal, Mahen Chaudhry, right the "injustice" against him?

Chaudhry is evidently mad and Qarase is intent on making it Fiji for the Fijians ( as in itaukei ) with the help of an Indo Fijian so blinded by power that he'll turn a blind eye to anything.

They deserve each other. But instead of putting them in government, let's put them in Naboro where they belong.
Cheap Shot said…
That’s a cheap analogy and oh how wrong.

Hitler and Stalin were the 2 worst dictators in the twentieth century and this agreement was their way of dividing up an independent democratic country, Poland.

Qarase and Chaudhry are two democratically elected prime ministers. Both of their terms of office ended early at the end of a gun wielded by soldiers from the RFMF.

How great that too political rivals are able to put their differences aside and try to work together to rid the world of another dictator. I applaud them.

To say Chaudhry and Qarase were the cause of their own coups is plain wrong. The military has been behind every coup in Fiji. In every case soldiers using guns from the RFMF armoury pointed their weapons at democratically elected politicians.

When we rid Fiji of the military will be the day the coup culture ends in the South Pacific.
Mahen 'Robin Hood'Chaudhry said…
Chaudhry has been compared to Robin Hood by none other than fellow regime PM, Bainimarama.

Robin Hood took from the rich and gave to the poor.

Mahen Chaudhry asked for and received in the name of the poor but kept for himself.
Destroying Hitler said…
croz
Perhaps those who are against dictatorships and juntas see it differently? To me the hon Qarase and Mr Chaudhry working together is more like UK and US combining to DESTROY the evil dictator Hitler?
Anonymous said…
Using the Hitler-Stalin analogy for Qarase and Chaudhry reveals just how extreme your bias has become, Croz. Moreover, the jack-booted thugs in Fiji who prevent elections, stifle free speech, use firebombs against critics, turn their guns against an unarmed populace, arrest human rights activists, torture political opponents, hold parliament hostage and use bullying tactics against their democratic opposition are led by Bainimarama, who we now know was behind every coup attempt back to and including 2000.

Yes, Qarase and Chaudhry have much to answer for. In Chaudhry's case, his worst crime might be the support he lent this regime -- not unlike yourself, although in his case it may constitute treason, in yours, only grave folly. But Bainimarama and company's crimes against Fiji are far more serious than anything Qarase and Chaudhry did or are even alleged to have done.  

Like Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, Fiji has a criminal dictator. I wouldn't put him on a par with Hitler or Stalin, but I do think you do all an injustice by serving as his apologist.

s/ Dakuwaqa
Dirty Dancing said…
@ Destroying Hitler
Umm. So we should expect the duo to implement Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo Bay in Fiji, and while they are at it, to urinate on the dead bodies of their enemies. Oh liberty, liberty, what crimes have been committed in your name!
CICERO said…
The true and only test with regard to any future election is this:

Did you at any time benefit from the remuneration or per diem paid to you from public money?

Did you at any time travel foc on Air Pacific or any other airline paid for by public money? If so, to what purpose?

Did you accountably and transparently fully acquit your use of public money supplied to you from taxpayers' funding of this administration (or whatever term is to be applied - set up?).

How would you determine or explain your access to these funds and the grounds and manner in which you have accessed them? Would you suggest it has been in whose best interest? Is there any obvious and undeclared conflict of interest? Furthermore, a
re you aware that any undeclared conflict of interest is purportedly a criminal offence and a matter for FICAC?

Now, that is going to keep a few persons very busy indeed! No wonder there are no inflatable dinghies for rescue operations? And people are left hanging in trees for hours prior to rescue?

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