Monday, August 18, 2008

Fiji: truth and sedition

Last week, in the wake of reports that interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry had been secretly sacked, the Fijian police dragged in a journalist and threatened her with sedition charges. Since then, the reports have grown, with the suggestion with Chaudhry would force his Fijian Labour Party to withdraw from the interim regime in order to avoid the humiliation of being sacked. Now it's actually happened, though Choudhry is denying that he had been asked to step down. Which raises an interesting question: if it was the truth, is it still sedition?

It's unclear yet whether the FLP will continue to support the military regime and its proposed "People's Charter", or whether this is simply a tactical move to distance themselves in the leadup to elections (and to allow their top leadership, who collaborated with the military, to run in those elections, contrary to the commitment they made when they joined the regime). But either way, the withdrawal will weaken the regime, which can only be a good thing.