5 Oct 2005

Fiji opposition seeks details of proposed changes to reconciliation bill

9:20 am on 5 October 2005

The Fiji Labour Party wants the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, to disclose details of changes to the controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Radio Legend reports that the deputy Labour leader, Poseci Bune, has made this a pre-condition for Labour's return to several parliamentary committees whose work it has been boycotting.

Speaking on Radio Legend's Hindi language sister station, Mr Bune said Mr Qarase should tell the public what changes will be made to the amnesty clause of the Bill.

Mr Bune says if the prime minister wants Labour to re-activate dialogue in the parliamentary ad hoc committees on land, sugar and constitutional changes, then he must announce the changes.

Mr Bune says Mr Qarase has already indicated these changes to the Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, and will so do to the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi next week.

Mr Bune says he wants to know why the prime minister cannot tell his own people what these changes are.

But Mr Qarase has denied that he has given any details to Mr Downer and says the best he can do is to ensure that the Bill complies with the constitution and does not interfere with the powers of the police, the judiciary and the director of public prosecutions. END