9 Jan 2012

Fiji's Sayed-Khaiyum says strengthened Public Order act will ensure stability

7:10 am on 9 January 2012

Fiji's Attorney General says modernising the Public Order Act will ensure a stable and peaceful society and is a positive step towards democracy.

The strengthening of the Public Order Act on Saturday comes after Public Emergency Regulations were lifted.

For example a person can be detained for 48 hours, and if need be for up to 14 days with the consent of the Commissioner of Police and the minister.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they just want to prevent a situation, like the 2000 coup, ever happening again.

"You saw what happened in Fiji in 2000. You had the then Prime Minister and his members of cabinet held captive for 56 days, holding the country to ransom. The streets of Suva were looted and ransacked. There was no legal provision to prevent that type of scenario and all we are saying is that in order to have democratic elections, we need to be able to truly be able to express our views, not under the fear of having extremist elements."