1 Jul 2005

Fiji's Rabuka opposes party lines in Reconciliation Bill vote

4:02 pm on 1 July 2005

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has called on members of parliament not to vote along party lines when the final vote is taken on the Qarase government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Mr Rabuka has told Radio Legend MPs should go out to their constituencies now to gauge support for the Bill.

He says this definitely needs to be done because of widely differing views on the Bill.

Mr Rabuka, who is chairman of the Cakaudrove Provincial Council, says while he welcomes the gathering of submissions from the 14 provincial councils, it is pointless for the government to base its decisions on the Bill after listening only to the councils.

He says MPs should consult widely with voters so that when they vote in parliament, they do so in accordance with the conscience of the constituency they represent.

Mr Rabuka says he had given his SVT MPs a free vote when they unanimously passed the 1997 Constitution in parliament.