NZ needs to continue diplomatic pressure on Fiji

Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke wants the Government to continue to promote multi-racial solutions in Fiji.

“The defeat of the parties committed to multi-racialism is a setback for Fiji,” said Mr Locke.

“The likely Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has already proclaimed the election result as a mandate to change the 1997 multi-racial constitution to one more exclusively based on distinct racial communities.

“New Zealand should give encouragement to those striving to maintain harmony between the Indo-Fijian and indigenous communities.

Mr Locke said that any efforts by Mr Qarase to change the constitution illegally should be opposed.

“He might be tempted to do so because he won’t have two thirds majority to do it legally.

“The victory of Mr Qarase and his allies in the racialist Conservative Alliance will scare a lot of people, particularly in the Indo-Fijian community.

“They should be reassured that New Zealand will not abandon its commitment to multi-racialism in Fiji,” he said.