Fiji Coup Supplement
Ministry of Information, Suva)
4 September, 2000
ADI KUINI Questions to be answered.
Statement by the Minister for Information & Communications, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola
Adi Kuini Speed is now challenging the authority of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC). Not so long ago she stressed its legitimate right to speak for Fijians and participate in critical decisions affecting them.
The GCC has every right to determine the course of the constitutional review. It is the only legitimate authority for such purpose in the land. Its authority is established by history and precedent.
On the other hand, Adi Kuini is a person without a party. Her party has dissociated itself from her former coalition partner.
Her former party colleagues were the first to desert Mahendra Chaudhry with whose policies they differed all the way from May 1999 to May 2000.
For much of the partnership Adi Kuini provided no leadership. When she should have allowed someone else to take charge as is appropriate in a democracy, she failed to do so. She has clung to power. She was ineffective as a minister and failed to advise her Prime Minister on Fijian protocol and the need for sensitivity in Fijian land matters. She must bear responsibility for abandoning Mahendra Chaudhry. Worse she did not allow anyone to step in the breach to assist him.
She is after all the person who abandoned the Fiji Labour Party as well as the leadership of its coalition with NFP. She ran away to find solace in a Fijian party, the FAP. She is no shining example of multiculturalism. For the FLP Coalition she was a liability thus also she betrayed the Fijian voters who had placed faith in her and her party.
With a friend like Adi Kuini, Chaudhry needed no enemies. Her neglect of duty was a critical factor in Chaudhry¹s downfall.