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MILITARY OFFICERS VIOLATE DECREES

May 9, 2013

  

The Fiji Trades Union Congress strongly condemns the statement attributed to the Chief of Staff Colonel Mohamed Aziz of the Fiji Military Forces pledging support to his Boss and current Regime Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama to continue in office as the Prime Minister after the 2014 elections. In doing so, The Chief of Staff of the Military has blatantly violated Decrees No 4 and 11 of 2013. Decree No. 4 at Section 14(1)(c) states that “a public officer shall not engage in political activity that may compromise or be seen to compromise the political neutrality of that persons office”. Section 14(2) (c) defines an officer of the Military as a “public officer”.

We also note that no one in the Military has disassociated themselves from these comments. Clearly, the Officer and those that stand by him are implicated and so far we have not seen any action taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions or anyone in authority to investigate and charge the Military Officer for violating Decree Nos. 4 and 11 of 2013.

We also remain concerned at the statements attributed to the Prime Minister, who currently is a military officer as well. He has clearly stated his intention to form a political party and is confident of remaining the Prime Minister after the elections. No one in Fiji is fooled by the constant campaigning that the Prime Minister is conducting at the taxpayers’ costs for his own political agenda while at the same time ensuring that no other political party exists or is able to scrutinise his actions or ensure accountability.

The statements made are in contravention of the Decrees and without doubt compromise the Military Forces into supporting a political party that would be sponsored by the Commander of the Military Forces. The statements also undermine the neutrality of the elections process and our desire to attain true democracy. The statements also imply that the Military will not support any other party should it win the people’s confidence. If that is indeed so, then the Regime must stop hoodwinking the people of Fiji and the international community into believing that we are truly on our way to democracy.

The absence of any action confirms that these Decrees are only meant for those who do not support the Regime and meant to continue to deny citizens of their fundamental rights simply to further the interest of those in power to remain in power.

We call on the Regime and the DPP to clarify its position in regards to these statements.

Felix Anthony
National Secretary

Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM

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