14 Jun 2007

Fiji Methodists push for return to democracy

7:02 pm on 14 June 2007

Fiji's Methodist Church says the interim administration's proposed People's Charter for Change and Progress does not have the support of the people and it's demanding general elections be held within two years.

The assistant general secretary of the Methodist church, the Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu, says they are calling on their 240 thousand members not to participate in the Charter.

The interim administration says the aim of the Charter will be to rebuild Fiji into a non-racial, culturally vibrant, united, well governed and truly democratic nation.

It says the Charter will also seek progress and prosperity through merit-based equality of opportunity and peace.

But the Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu says such policy initiatives should be left to elected representatives and the country should be returned to democratic rule immediately.

"We stand totally against the Charter because the Charter proposes big reforms in the nation. We are waiting for a government, democratically elected by the people according to the constitution, then because it has the consent of the people then it is constitutionally right for them to take the nation to the next five years according to the constitution but this one has no constitutional right to take us to the next 20 years."

Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu of the Methodist Church.