6 Jun 2005

Fiji-based NGO calls for more action on Fiji's Reconciliation bill

3:27 pm on 6 June 2005

A regional NGO says there is a threat to the stability of the region from the Fiji government's controversial Reconciliation and Unity bill.

Ema Tagicakibau, the assistant director of the Suva-based Pacific Concerns Resource Centre, or PCRC, says the bill will legitimise the overthrow of a legally-elected government on the basis of political convictions.

She says if it's allowed to go through, it will continue a cycle of coups and other countries in the region could follow.

Ms Tagicakibau says regional governments and the Pacific Islands Forum should be taking a much more pro-active stance over the Reconciliation bill.

"We would be looking up to these regional governance institutions in terms of playing a key role in terms of upholding the principles of good governance that they preach. I think that most of the times, these institutions try to play it safe and don't condemn, and wait until things happen."

The secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum, Greg Urwin, is refusing to comment on the bill and the New Zealand government says it is neither for nor against it.