|Nawaikula: Bainimarama is fear mongering|
Quick and sharp response today from Opposition member, Niko Nawaikula, after Frank Bainimarama accused him of threatening to carry out a coup.
Bainimarama was quoted in the Fiji Sun as saying Naiwaikula had threatened in his maiden speech that if the Constitution was not amended it would be Parliament’s invitation to another coup.
In a veiled threat, he went on to say government, RFMF and police were working in unison and would stop any attempted coup.
Nawaikula was quick to front the claims and the ‘alleged threats against him’ saying he had said nothing of the sort.
“…. Prime Minister Bainimarama and the Fiji Sun would do well to read the context in which I referred to coups in the Hansard – if they had, they would realize that their claims that I ‘threatened a coup‘ were not only baseless, but deliberately distorted to ‘sensationalize’ the issue for their own benefit of fear mongering.”
Nawaikula said his reference to coups was in relation to his remarks on ‘True Democracy’ where he said, quote:
“True Democracy will only be achieved by a Constitution that contains the following essential elements:
1) It is the common will of the population;
2) It guarantees the rights of all citizens, and by that I mean, individual fundamental rights, indigenous group rights, minority rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights and all the other rights that are now established by UN Convention;
3) It provides within its mechanism a clear separation of powers; and
4) It must also provide within it a provision that guarantees accountability, transparency and good governance.
“I will be so bold as to say that the sooner we convene a commission to look into and extract from all previous Constitutional documents, the good they have in them, combining them all into one that we all agree with containing those essential elements, the better it will be for us.
“Not doing so will be an invitation for another coup because we have shown by the very way that we have been voting since 1987, that a coup is a legitimate way to change things. Unquote.”
Nawaikula went to say : “This is clearly recorded in the Hansard records. Nowhere in that statement do I threaten a coup!”
He added: “The fact is, the Prime Minister and his side of the House and the 2013 Constitution are themselves the end product of the coups I referred to as the way we have been changing our political direction since 1987.This is a fact. Plain and simple.
“By threatening me as he did, the Prime Minister himself is mocking the 2013 Constitution because he shows no respect or regard for my freedom of speech, expression and publication as stated in the Bill of Rights Sec 17, and my freedom of conscience and belief as stated in Sec 22.
“The Honourable Bainimarama must understand that he is now a Prime Minister, not a Dictator with a mandate to govern, he must exercise his powers with humility, respect and accountability and that includes allowing others to freely express their view and he must protect their right to do so.”