Op-Ed: No Fiji election in 2014, says PM Tuilaepa
The citizens of Fiji and the international community are again being led down the cassava patch with promises of free elections in 2014.
Asked of his views on the recent uplifting of the Public Emergency Regulations in Fiji, only to be replaced by more repressive public order laws, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said; “Promises from the military regime of general elections in two years’ time are a pipe dream. It’s just more deception and creating more false hope among Fiji citizens and the international community. It is synonymous of those who rule by the gun without a mandate from the people.
“This (public order decrees) is just the latest in what’s become an endless litany of lies and excuses to hold on to power.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa believes Commodore Frank Bainimarama has gone too far.
“The public service has been fully militarized with unqualified army colonels occupying top-level public service positions. The commodore cannot take away their fat salaries and round them back to the military barracks. It’s beyond him now. He’s gone too far and lacks the strength and smarts to pull Fiji back to democratic government..and governance. It’s just survival for him now at whatever cost.”
Those close to the Commodore, the Prime Minister said, are ‘shamelessly milking the taxpayers’.
“The Attorney General who constantly feeds Bani with legal fodder, I’ve been told, holds five different government portfolios collecting five different pay cheques. How much is he getting? A million dollars in just six months? How can you pocket that amount of public funds while people in Fiji are slaving away? Obviously there continues to be a lack of moral consciousness among Bainimarama’s band of thieves. What he set out to do – to remove corruption – he is now rolling in the mud enjoying and indulging in every facet of it.”
The Prime Minister said Fiji could soon experience the Pacific version of the recent Arab Spring. A “South Pacific squall”, he called it.
“The Fijian people are gradually awakening. And one cannot continue to suppress people indefinitely. People power is always mightier than all the guns in the world. Bainimarama must avoid at all cost a South Pacific squall.”
Drawing parallels to Samoa , the Prime Minister said.
“It’s extremely odd and embarrassing to see soldiers patrolling the streets of Suva with bazookas. The Pacific Islands region is not used to seeing these frightening images of trigger-happy idiots in full war garb trudging up and down the road.
“If what is happening in Fiji happened in Samoa, long ago people would’ve come out of their homes, from the plantations, from the mountains and countryside and a 100,000 would march the streets of Apia. Old women armed with brooms, particularly, would be climbing over each other to get their hands on the regime. Bainimarama and his co-cohorts would now be safely behind bars, if this had happened in Samoa of course.”