Fiji Opposition MP Questions Presidential Address, Calls For Unity

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Prasad says Rapu Epeli trying to discourage dissent, diversity of views

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 15, 2015) – The leader of an opposition political party in Fiji, Biman Prasad, has taken issue with comments by Fiji's head of state at the opening of parliament yesterday.

Ratu Epeli Nailatikau urged less division and more national unity in the next year and said it was inexcusable to undermine the Fijian economy for political gain.

He called on MPs to raise the tone in the upcoming session which will be the second year of parliament since landmark elections following the 2006 coup.

Biman Prasad says it is ridiculous to expect the opposition not to criticise the government of the day.

"If you don't promote dissent, if you don't allow diversity of views, if you don't allow disagreements, if you don't allow divisions within parliament, then you cannot call it a genuine democracy."

[PIR editor’s note: RNZI reported that ‘In a forceful address Fiji's head of state warned any attempt to overturn the government before the next election in 2018 would be subject to the full force of the law. ... In a forceful address Fiji's head of state warned any attempt to overturn the government before the next election in 2018 would be subject to the full force of the law.’]

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