FIJI NEWS

Majority of Parties Support Secular State

SODELPA differs on contentious issue farisha ahmed suva Three political parties contesting the 2014 elections have supported the current Government’s emphasis on a secular state. The National Federation Party, People’s
31 Jul 2014 07:58

SODELPA differs on contentious issue

farisha ahmed
suva

Three political parties contesting the 2014 elections have supported the current Government’s emphasis on a secular state.
The National Federation Party, People’s Democratic Party and the Fiji Labour Party have indicated their support for the secular state. The Social Democratic Liberal Party is the only party with a different opinion.
NFP party leader Dr Biman Prasad said the party had always supported the idea of Fiji as a secular state since the inception of the party.
“Throughout our history, the party has supported the concept of secular state as it is the fundamental right of every citizen,” Dr Prasad said.
“We would not tolerate anything apart from secular state because Fiji is a multi-racial and multi-religious country and it is vital for a nation.”
He said the party would not compromise on the principles of a secular state.
PDP’s leader Felix Anthony says there was a need for a secular state as the party respected all religions.
“We should not only preach but practice religious tolerance in this country and not impose one religion on any another in any way,” Mr Anthony said.
“The PDP believes that Fiji needs to be a secular state where all religions must be respected and there need not be any superior religion to any other religion in this country.”
He said all religions need to be respected and be treated equally.
Similar sentiments were also expressed by the FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
“Of course the party supports secular state; this is included in our party manifesto which will be released on Saturday this week in Suva,’ he said.
However, the Social Democratic Liberal Party has a different stand on the secular state.
SODELPA spokesperson Sainiana Radrodro said, “We do not support the declaration for a secular state.
“We recognise and respect other religious beliefs but wish to have the 1997 clause on the recognition that Christianity and Christian values be the basis of our government.”
It further said that every person has the right, either individually or in community with others, in private or in public, to manifest and practice their religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching.
Feedback: farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj




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