Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ro Teimumu, John Key and Generalised Accusations

Ro Teimumu Kepa

I'm not sure whether John Key is the best choice as an Fiji Opposition ally.  He has some serious democratic issues to deal with in New Zealand, and he's been accused of bullying and patronising in some of his Pacific dealings. But the points both he and Ro Teimumu have raised in this Fiji Oppositon statement, require answers. Or rather —they would require answers if the accusations were made more specific.  It's hard to answer generalities.  To be heeded outside the circle of their core supporters, the Opposition needs to make these claims specific.

  • How, exactly, is the independence of the media, parliament, the civil Service, the police and the judiciary compromised?  Examples, please.
  • How is debate stifled? How are civil servants intimidated? Examples are needed. Those so far raised in parliament seem more like nit picking, and the example of the Acting Police Commissioner in this statement is far from convincing. It may have been better to appoint someone other than a military officer but there was nothing illegal in the appointment. And what are the alleged human rights abuses of which he is accused?
Although not directly stated, much has also been made of the influence of the A-G on the PM.  Sayed Khaiyum is a very able, knowledgeable, hard working and forceful character. But if what he is doing is seen as "not good for Fiji", the case  needs to be argued. Relying on advice from an able and knowledgeable person would seem a wise thing to do unless the influence is excessive and  exclusionary.

In sum, generalised accusations, hearsay and rumour are not enough.  This blog would welcome specific comments from Opposition spokespeople and informed readers on the points raised by Ro Teimumu. -- Croz

Parliament House


Ro Teimumu pleased with NZ Prime Minister John Key’s offer of help for Police interim leadership

Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa has welcomed the offer of help from New Zealand Prime Minister Key with Fiji’s transition to a new Police Commissioner.  She urged the Fiji Government to take up the offer for the sake of Fiji’s faltering democracy.

Mr Key said in a Radio New Zealand report that he would have preferred if the out-going Police Commissioner was not replaced with a military commander.

Mr Key said Fiji’s democracy was still in a fragile state and he would hate for it to be eroded.

Recalling Fiji’s history of coups, Mr Key said New Zealand would hate for Fiji to start moving away from democracy and the pillars of independence, including for the Judiciary and the Police, which any decent society relies on. 

 Ro Teimumu was pleased that New Zealand had now realized that Fiji’s democracy has ‘stalled’.  “We still do not have the democratic benefits of full independence of the media, Parliament, Civil Service, Police, Judiciary and other institutions necessary for any democracy,”
she said.

Ro Teimumu said that 12 months on from our first elections in eight years, debate is being stifled, and intimidation of civil servants is openly practised by the Prime Minister and the Attorney General.  The PM had again undermined his own democracy with his arbitrary decision to appoint as Acting Police Commissioner a Military officer who is allegedly accused of human rights abuses.

Ro Teimumu said that people should become more alert to what is really going on in Fiji

 Authorized By:                                  Hon. Ro Teimumu Kepa

West Wing, Level 2
Parliament House

Phone (679) 3225657


  1. The demagoguery of the Opposition is accute but to be expected.

  2. Dear Croz,
    Your soft pedal approach to anything that goes against the ruling party in Fiji is really quite telling.
    Do you really need specifics in order to give some credibility to any dissenting voice in Fiji?
    Even the stories that manage to get into the public press should be enough for a perceptive reader to know that all is not what the government wishes us to think.
    Please show some intellectual independence in what you publish on this site. The Fiji First propaganda is already well circulated by Qorvis, we don't need more of it from you.

    Regards, Anon

    1. This is your opportunity to document and discuss these issues. I've raised some questions. If you have the answers, don't waste the opportunity attacking me.

  3. Come on Croz. You CAN and indeed MUST do better than this. Specifics are of course vital and necessary to be sufficient. PM John Key's offer is VITAL and required to give trust and more importantly hope to a beleaguered country. Do you need more?

    1. Yes. I hope to open discussion on:
      1. The assumed abuses of human rights,
      2. Alleged political interference with the military and police,
      3. The question of the independence of the judiciary,
      4. Labour and trade union rights, and
      5. the Media Decree, its possible and actual effects. human rights,
      But I want thoughtful, informed comments, not rhetoric and non-statements.
      As I said previously, this is an OPPORTUNITY. Please grasp it.

  4. I agree with Croz. Lets get the proof! Parliament is one of those places one can get away with saying some really stupid things and politicians tend to do it very, very well. Some to the extent of making remarks against members of the public but never having the courage to say it in public. Now if the Opposition in Fiji has proof about the happenings & goings on please provide the proof? How difficult is that? As for the NZ PM - maybe he thinks that there is'nt anyone around to lead the Police Force in Fiji? It appears Australia & NZ seem to have the notion they have the solutions to Fijis problems. Can I kindly remind them that they wanted an elections in Fiji now they have had that? As for democracy sure lets have one , but which form? The one in Burma? In Thailand or closer to home Papua & New Guinea? The Opposition lost an opportunity to challenge the Govt to its budget - what a wasted opportunity? Am i surprised - i have yet to see some quality discussions from the Leader of the Opposition & her crew i'm still waiting.


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