FIJI NEWS

Leaders clash on secular state

AQELA SUSU SUVA Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry and party president Lavenia Padarath are at odds over a secular state. Mr Chaudhry told FBC Television that the party supported
09 Aug 2014 09:33

From left: FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry, SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa and FLP president Lavinia Padarath. Photo: Rosi Doviverata

AQELA SUSU
SUVA

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry and party president Lavenia Padarath are at odds over a secular state.
Mr Chaudhry told FBC Television that the party supported the secular state.
But Mrs Padarath said at a party rally a few weeks ago that the party did not support Fiji becoming a secular state.
That’s what democracy is about; the majority of views. As far as we are concerned this country has more Christians, a predominantly Christian country and our view is what is wrong with the past 1997 Constitution with its reference to God?
“Because we believe there is only one God we all serve this one God and we worship in different places. If we go back to the old constitution what is wrong there it ought to be stated that Fiji should be remain a God fearing nation. It does not need to mention a secular state.”
Mr Chaudhry told FBC TV: “I haven’t heard her say that anywhere and if we are maintaining that I will speak to her, I will not take your word for gospel truth. I will have to speak to her because I know our position on that is very clear.
“The Labour party’s stand is very clear, look at our manifesto it’s about secular state, it’s about religious freedom, and it’s about a united Fiji.”
Mr Chaudhry’s statement goes against proposed coalition partner SODELPA’s opposition to a secular state, throwing the coalition future in doubt.

aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj




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