THE President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, has endorsed the People’s Charter proposed by the interim regime as the way forward for our beloved nation.This is a document which Voreqe Bainimarama and his supporters would have us believe has been accepted by more than 62 per cent of the people approached to give their views.
Our people have been approached and prevailed upon to give instant answers.
This has been done in the presence of police officers with ordinary citizens told that they are compelled to sign the forms provided by the National Council for Building a Better Fiji.
In some cases civil servants have been herded together in groups and lectured on the charter.
These lectures have been followed by admonitions to sign the attached forms in support of the junta’s solution to all our political problems.
It is based upon this that the regime would have us believe that the majority of the nation supports the charter. What civil servant under such pressure would not agree to sign a document in union with Bainimarama’s plans? Now the interim administration has played its trump card – the Office of the President.
By soliciting the President’s approval, Bainimarama and his advisers believe that the people will submit to their demands.
We have said before and reiterate today – this administration, brought to power and supported by the army, can do anything it wishes and promulgate any law which it desires to implement.
It has the power to do so.
Why, then, must it seek the Office of the President or a charter supposedly backed by the people to legitimise its rule? The true test of its popularity will only be seen when the people – as is their right – once again have the ability to elect their legal representatives.
No amount of force, no suppression of the rights of the individual will ever legitimise the removal of an elected government. The fact that the President has endorsed the charter will not change the status quo for the people of this nation.
They remain governed by an unelected government enforced upon them by military might.
We dare tell the interim administration that the day of reckoning is not yet upon us and that the people will have their say. That day may be next year or in 2011 or some other time in the future.
But when that day comes the voice of the people will be strong and it will be unequivocal.
This country deserves more than an unelected regime which will stop at nothing to enforce its whims upon the people.
(Fiji Times Editorial 20/12/08)
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