14 Jan 2010

Fiji regime threatens pension cuts to silence dissenters

6:51 pm on 14 January 2010

The Information Ministry in Fiji has contradicted the interim prime minister and says the regime has not yet cut the pensions of its critics despite implementing a new decree.

The interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama told Radio Fiji his regime passed a decree last week and already stopped the pensions of its critics from this week.

But the Permanent Secretary for Information, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni, says nobody has as yet had their pension stopped and the interim regime isn't targeting anyone in particular.

"They will be informed and they are given the opportunity to show recourse for government not to affect the stoppage of whoever that pensioner... We do not look at anyone in particular, it's just general."

Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni says the pension is a government pension from the Ministry of Finance and is separate to the National Provident Fund.

The Fiji's Citizens Constitutional Forum says by stopping pension payments to its critics, the interim regime is abusing its powers.

Under the military regime's new order, decrees cannot be challenged.