11 May 2005

Fiji's National Alliance Party calls for bill details

3:57 pm on 11 May 2005

The National Alliance Party of Fiji is calling on the Government to release copies of its proposed Reconciliation and Unity legislation.

One week after the Government said it will introduce legislation to speed reconciliation following the 2000 coup, copies of its Reconciliation and Unity Bill are not publicly available.

It's reported that the Attorney-General, Qoriniasi Bale, has confirmed that the proposed Reconciliation and Unity Commission to be set up may hold meetings in-camera.

The National Alliance Party chairman, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, says the lack of details is fostering doubt about the Government's motives over the legislation.

He says it would be wrong for commission meetings to be secret, but without the Bill it's hard to know what's intended.

"We're all crying out, we all, everybody's asking Where's the Bill? They've come out publicly and they must make available the document as soon as possible, as soon as the Cabinet has had a look at it and passes it in the Cabinet, and then through Parliament. The quicker that process and the quicker that document can come out the better for us to be informed -- better informed."

Ratu Epeli says he's heard suggestions the Bill will go to Cabinet next Wednesday.