Bainimarama calls Methodist Church a mouthpiece for opposition party


The prime minister of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, has accused  the Methodist Church in that country of being a mouthpiece for the opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).

The church’s general secretary, Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa, has responded by saying the church leaders would see the Prime Minister and “sort things”.

Mr Vakadewavosa said the church was neutral and not a mouthpiece for SODELPA.

“The Methodist Church is a neutral organisation, biggest religious organisation in the country, and we were very sad with what had transpired with the programme (Parliament sitting),” he said.

Bainimarama told Parliament that the Methodist Church was a campaign mouth for SODELPA while responding to a question by SODELPA deputy whip, Mosese Bulitavu about a Parliamentary review the 2013 Constitution.

During a heated debate Bainimarama said that lies are being spread by the opposition and others like the Methodist Church that the iTaukei are being victimised under the constitution.

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reported that Bainimarama, who is a member of the Methodist Church, is convinced that 1987 Coup leader and current SODELPA leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, is colluding with and using the church again for political gain.

Last weekend the church released a statement entitled “Submission on Proposed Village Bylaws 2016”.

The statement made reference to a number of other concerns.

According to information received by Fijivillage, the Methodist Church has asked the government:

  • Extend the timeline to review proposed village by-laws
  • Re-instate the Great Council of Chiefs
  • Declare Fiji to be made a Christian State
  • Open consultation with the Itaukei along with the removal of 17 decrees and policies which the church claims breach ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the rights of the indigenous people.
  • Review the 2013 Constitution.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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