24 Jul 2009

Fiji's interim government accused of overstepping mark with church

4:31 pm on 24 July 2009

Fiji's interim government is being accused of crossing a line in the way it's dealing with the Methodist Church.

The comment follows the charging of church leaders and a paramount chief with defying the Public Emergency Regulations over plans to hold the church's annual conference next month.

The interim government has banned the conference on the grounds that is is a political manouevre by the ousted SDL Party but as yet the church has not issued an official statement cancelling the event and maintains its stance is still bold and firm.

The SDL's member for Lami Open Constituency, Mere Tuisalolo Samisoni, says the Methodists make up the majority of Fiji's population and the interim government is wrong to ban the conference.

"The people's spririt cannot be stopped and that's what democracy is all about. People's right to choose, it's a human right and that right is inalienable and for somebody to come, for a group of elite people to stop it, they cannot stop it. I mean it is the people who will choose to attend it or not."

Mere Tuisalolo Samisoni of Fiji's ousted SDL Party.