Cairns, Australia – The Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement continued its fight by lobbying leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) at the recent Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Cairns to drop its plan to table the roadmap by Fiji’s military regime for elections to be held in 2014.
Instead, the Australia-based Movement lobbied Forum leaders to accept the joint submission by Fiji’s deposed Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase and Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry that the Presidential Political Dialogue Forum should resume and workshop a path for a return to parliamentary democracy with an election deadline of October 2010.
The MSG comprises Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomons.
“The Movement believes that the Qarase-Chaudhry Joint Submission should be the roadmap adopted by the Forum because those two leaders head political parties that attracted 85 per cent of the votes in the 2006 election,” Movement President Usaia Pita Waqatairewa said.
“They therefore represent the true views of the people of Fiji,” he said.
“Frank Bainimarama’s roadmap, on the other hand, does not represent the views of the people of Fiji,” Mr Waqatairewa said.
“Commodore Bainimarama’s roadmap reflects his own personal views and those of an elite few that have much to lose if Fiji is returned to parliamentary democracy.”
Mr Waqatairewa said the Movement succeeded in convincing the MSG leaders through meetings with their High Commissioners and the Solomon Islands Prime Minister that there is an alternative to Commodore Bainimarama’s Interim Government’s roadmap to democracy.
“Our cause was strongly boosted by the Communiqué of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Committee just days before the Forum meeting, which fully endorsed the Qarase-Chaudhry Joint submission leading to the Forum’s own endorsement of the submission in their communiqué after the Leaders Retreat on Thursday August 6,” he said.
He said the Movement also aimed to engage media attention and send a message for the immediate restoration of democracy and freedom in Fiji.
Mr Waqatairewa was met by a media scrum on the first day of demonstration outside the meeting venue and gave 10 separate interviews to a global audience during the two-day demonstration.
He had driven to Cairns from Sydney, meeting up with Fijian communities along the way in Armidale, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns.
In the process, he managed to establish working committees for chapters in Armidale, Townsville and Cairns with plans to establish chapters across Australia for a nationwide movement fighting for the restoration of democracy to Fiji.
FDFM Secretariat, 15 August 2009
We all do our little bit. The goons cannot endure forever. We The People, can.
God bless Fiji