The FLP Submission to Come?

FLP General Secretary
Many people acknowledge there are problems with the Bainimarama Government and the way it is conducting the Constitution dialogue process,  but many of them are also trying their best not to derail the process in the hope and expectation that the result will be  a better constitution,  a more equitable electoral system, and a fairer Fiji following the elections in 2014. 

Unfortunately, the leaders of the Fiji Labour Party do not belong to this group.

 At their Annual Delegates Conference on Monday they stated their opposition to the dialogue process and signalled the likely contents of their submission to the Commission.

Briefly, they want the appointment of a caretaker government to "take charge of the process of restoring Fiji to democratic and constitutional rule".   They claim the dialogue process is  "being driven by the regime in a pre-determined direction to serve its own interests and agenda" and is non-inclusive and non-participatory. They object to provisions for immunity; the "absolute powers" of the Prime Minister; and the size and composition of the "Constituent Assembly" (That has still not been decided. Perhaps they meant Commission).

In other words, they don't like it; they don't trust it, and they are not going to go along with it.  

Several  delegates spoke in favour of retaining the 1997 Constitution with some amendments to the electoral system to  be worked out by "an appropriately constituted forum similar to the aborted President’s Political Dialogue Forum of 2009."  

One wonders whether the amendments will include  the abolition of the race-defined communal electorates, making all electorates Open with candidates standing from the different races,  and  an insistence on one man one vote one value. Or  whether they are happy to live with a patched-up system,  a compromise with the SDL and UPP,  as long as it is seems to be in their short-term interests. 

Yet, unless there is a radical change to the electoral system, Fiji will revert to its old confrontational politics, the racial divide will widen, and the resultant instability could well herald yet another coup, this time less favourable to the Indo-Fijians who voted for the FLP.

Maybe the FLP should have been consulted about the composition of the Commission but they weren't and whatever they now say, the Commission does represent a fair range of views and it is definitely no push over. Criticise by all means but know where to stop.  The derailment of the dialogue process is the worst thing that could happen to Fiji at this time. A reversal now could well herald a return to the far less tolerant days following the Abrogation of the 1997 Constitution in 2009.

For this, if for no other reason, leaders with foresight should be offering their full support to Prof Yash Ghai and the Constitution Commission to  help  make its recommendations so strong and so well accepted that no one, not even Bainimarama should he wish,  would dare to oppose them.   

I should refrain from pointing the finger at the FLP General Secretary but there's little doubt Mahendra Chaudhry's influence is  there somewhere. In times like these, one continues to  hope that  people will  put the needs  of the nation ahead of their own personal or supposed party interests.   

 -- Crosbie Walsh.


Ram Sami said…
I think people with all kinds of different political views will be united in ensuring that politicians who have used their political positions to enrich themselves to the tune of millions have no place in the Governance of a New Fiji that will soon emerge.
Joe said…
FLP is headed in the exact same direction as NFP (dove and flower factions of 1977). They will soon self distruct, the writing is on the wall. If anything, the outcome of the recent FLP meeting in Nadi is more than enough evidence that the party is a personal property of the chaudharies. It is now very important for Felix Anthony, Daniel Urai and Krishna Datt to call a mass meeting(with the govt's permission) of the workers/labourers of Fiji and tell them point blank what is happening to their voice in parliament. This issue is in the national interest, as we could potentially have Rajen or Sachida as PM of Fiji, and this coup cycle will never end.
Fijiana said…
FLP is done. They have seen better days. It was Mahen that opposed 1997 Constitution. It is Mahen that has acted as Hitler and thinks that FLP is his personal property. It is Mahen that has NEVER shown any compromise in any matter. Mahen thinks that politics is just like a running union. Mahen calls himself a LEADER. At best he is a leader from school of Hitler. All this politicians from FLP need to take a retirement. Felix, Krishna Dutt, Mahen, Mick, Qarase, and the the rest of them from yesteryears.

Fiji needs new blood. People with vision, people that have only Fiji at heart and not how to fill their pocket. We have seen that since independence all the leaders that we have had were choors. The only exceptions were Bavadra and Jai Ram Reddy, and Hon. A.D. Patel. Friends we need a clear message sent to politicians of the past. They are not longer needed. They are done.
FLP down the crapper said…
Mahen and Rajen have effectively captured the party by stacking cronies on the executive.

Father and son are indulging in the same machinations and dirty back-door dealings that saw chaudhry in-law sachida appointed to senate in defiance party directive. mahen and rajen do as they please, old-fart FLP executives too scared too challenge them.

Sachida, mahen and rajen as palwaar (family) form a formidable team. They are well positioned to dominate affairs, organise and conduct fundraising, etc.

mahen is only for himself and his family, no one else, as evidenced by the 5% pay cut this so-called workers' champion recommended for Public Service workers.

Chaudhry's have, over the years, purged the party off intellectuals. It is left with ghar phatoo (cowardly) mahen yes-men with low intelligence.

That party is there to serve mahen and family first and foremost and becoming ever so clear.

Somebody in FLP needs to grow balls and stand beside felix to oust the corrupt leadership or FLP as a multiracial, workers' party is doomed.
Pretty much the same said…
Croz - who would do well to remember this is the same Mahen and FLP that where part of the current self appointed government. If it had not been for the media (much hated by yourself and Frank alike) then no one would have known about Mahen's millions. And if it had not been for the media Frank would have let him stay on (remember Frank cleared Mahen of all wromng doing and blamed the media). Even in the end he allowed mahen to resign...what a joke as he is now on public record as saying he wsa sacked from government. And what do we know of how Frank has used his power to look after himself. He escaped scrutiny for his role in the 2000 coup and death of soldiers. He paid himself a huge 'back pay' and know one knows how much he pays himself now. It is almost certainly significantly more than when he was only head of the RFMF....despite his promise no one in the military would benefit from the coup !!!!!!! What a joke Mahen and Frank I can't see you as much better.
Anonymous said…
'Many people acknowledge there are problems with the Bainimarama Government', this i agree with, but not the poeple who need to accept this, the regime themselves, they can never bring themselves to accept i, so why would they be different to any others who have held power?
Anonymous said…
@ Pretty, you risk being told by Croz how negative you are given you rudely bringing up very inconvenient truths about the hypocracy of the regime and their cronies. He is quite preared to go back decades for dirt on others but the military regime are always keen to forget their past when it comes to their own actions and face forwards. How convenient for them.
problem with the regime said…
The biggest problem with the military regime (which you laughably call a government) is that it is currently in place for one reason and one reason only. Its poor leadership can mobilise thugs with guns.
Mahen 'million dollar man' chaudhry said…
July 28, 2010
Russell Hunter, former editor-in-chief of the Fiji Sun, interviewed after Chaudhry was charged in 2010 with money laundering, tax evasion and failing to declare foreign currency:

“When (mahen) and his cabinet hostages were released by a prison-bound George Speight (10 years ago), Mr Chaudhry embarked on a worldwide tour spreading the word about the legitimacy of his cause as an elected prime minister and raising funds for the ‘poor Indians’ suffering in Fiji as a result of Speight’s abortive coup.

"It’s not quite clear exactly how much was raised, as Mr Chaudhry received the money, much of it in cash, himself.”

Eventually Fiji Sun identified Mr Chaudhry as the “minister with overseas millions".

Said Hunter:

“As (Victor) Lal’s inquiries continued, the story took weird twists and turns. I received a visit late one night in January 2008 from a person I knew only slightly. This person handed me a plain brown envelope with the full tax records of Mahendra Chaudhry, revealing that the authorities knew about” his fund-raising efforts, but had not pursued him over the issue. The fact Mr Chaudhry was at that time the minister responsible for the taxation authority may or may not have been relevant.”

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