15 Feb 2013

Fiji Labour Party registers but take legal action to overturn decree

11:01 am on 15 February 2013

The Fiji Labour Party has joined the National Federation Party in re-registering as political parties ahead of last night's midnight deadline.

Existing political parties had until midnight last night to lodge their applications with the Registrar of Political Parties, which must satisfy strict new criteria, including them having to sign-up 5000 members.

The SDL party was forced to wind up under the regime's decree, although the party is to reform under a new name.

The Labour Party has also filed legal proceedings asking the High Court to set aside the Political Parties Registration Decree and to stop the Registrar from de-registering the Party pending the court decision.

The party says parts of the decree detract from the universally recognised and accepted principles and values of democracy and human rights.

It also claims the decree denies the workers and their trade unions the right to form and belong to political parties of their choice as enshrined in ILO Freedom of Association provisions.

The party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry says he is saddened by the plight of the people after six years of misrule by the Bainimarama regime.

He says poverty has escalated, unemployment is high, the value of the dollar has slumped and investment is negligible because of political instability and the absence of the rule of law.