14 Jun 2007

Methodist Church in Fiji calls for immediate return to democratic rule

10:23 am on 14 June 2007

Fiji's influential Methodist Church says the interim administration has no popular mandate and should restrict itself to taking the country back to civilian rule.

Fiji TV reports that the Methodist Church, backed by the Assembly of Christian Churches of Fiji (ACCF), reveals its views in its submission on the proposed Peoples' Charter for Change and Progress.

The church says such policy initiatives should be left to elected representatives.

As well, it says with the suspension of the Great Council of Chiefs, the church is concerned about the legality of any policy measures affecting indigenous Fijian land and Fijian administration.

The Methodist Church has also condemned what it says is the politicization of appointments and has described it as the worst form of corruption.

It says the country should be returned to democratic rule immediately with general elections held no later than March 2009.

The assistant general secretary of the Methodist Church, the Rev Tuikilakila Waqairatu, says they will advise their 240-thousand members against participating in the People's Charter for Change and Progress.

He says their objection is based on theological grounds.