Cooks MP criticises leader for Fiji stance

Cooks MP criticises leader for Fiji stance

Cooks MP criticises leader for Fiji stance

Posted 31 January 2013, 16:59 AEDT

A Cook Islands MP has criticised his country's prime minister for being soft on Fiji's coup-installed military government.

Cook Islands MP, Norman George, has criticised his country's prime minister for being soft on Fiji's coup-installed military government.

Mr George told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat that tougher sanctions are needed against Fiji.

"I'm very disappointed with the very soft attitude of our prime minister, Henry Puna. He's not reflecting the true views of the people of the Cook Islands," Mr George said on Thursday.

"The people of the Cook Islands jealously guard and appreciate the democratic process.

"To see what's happening in Fiji is so disappointing, it is undemocratic and cruel."

He compared Fiji to Uganda during the reign of Idi Amin.

"The people of Fiji are being subjected to the worst dictatorship - it matches that of Idi Amin in Uganda many years ago," he said.

Mr George said he "admired" the courage of Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, for "standing up for the principles of democracy" and "speaking his mind".

Mr George was elected as a member of Mr Puna's Cook Islands Party in 2010, but has since become an independent MP.

He said he didn't think Mr Puna took his job seriously.

To see what's happening in Fiji is so disappointing, it is undemocratic and cruel.

Cook Islands MP, Norman George

"It's going to be very tough to get him to sit down and think first before he starts to ramble on about supporting the military regime in Fiji," he said.

"It is never the Pacific way to carry arms and force your dominance. It is not the Pacific way to do away with democracy.

"The Pacific way is enshrined in democracy."