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Fiji coup amnesty legislation delayed

[JURIST] Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase [official profile] has said legislation offering amnesty to those involved in a May 2000 racially-motivated coup [BBC report] will be delayed. The Reconciliation, Tolerance, and Immunity Bill [PDF text] has prompted widespread controversy since it was introduced last year, with the country's military commander, Commodore Voreque Bainimarama [official profile], threatening to overthrow the government [JURIST report] over the measure. Bainimarama has said that the proposal will increase the likelihood of future coups and will worsen the political position of Fiji's ethnic Indians. Qarase met with Bainimarama Monday, when the two agreed on measures to improve their relations. Qarase first proposed making changes to the bill [JURIST report] last October. The legislation was scheduled to return to Parliament for a vote in February, but the prime minister now says that he cannot provide a timetable for the bill at this time, and cannot guarantee that it will be passed before the September elections. AFP has more.

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