Saturday, January 06, 2007

Illegal Immunity Proposed for Military Thugs January 05, 2007

Fiji's military head Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said he will facilitate immunity for his soldiers while giving his first public address as Interim Prime Minister. Commodore Bainimarama also vowed to uphold the mandate given him and the yet-to-be appointed interim administration by Fiji President Ratu Josefa Iloilo.
Speaking at a press conference soon after his swearing in by Ratu Iloilo today, Commodore Bainimarama said the mandate is to:
"- continue to uphold the Constitution;
- where necessary facilitate legal protection and immunity, criminal and civil, to the commander, officers and soldiers;
- Give effect to the actions of the RFMF, including the respective suspensions, dismissals and temporary removal from office of civil servants, CEOs, those appointed by the judicial services and constitutional services commissions, the judiciary and government appointed board members;
- Steady our economy through sustained economic growth and correct the economic mismanagement of the past six years;
- Lift the living standards of the growing poor and underprivileged of our country;
- Restructure the Native Land Trust Board to ensure more benefits flow to the ordinary indigenous Fijians;
- Eradicate systematic corruption by including the setting up of an anti-corruption unit through the Attorney-General's Office and set new corruption standards of governmental and institutional transparency;
- Improve relations with neighbours and the international community;
- Take the country to democratic elections after an advanced electoral office and systems are in place and the political and economic conditions are conducive to the holding of such elections;
- Immediately as practicable introduce a Code of Conduct and Freedom of Information provisions and;
- Give paramountcy to national security and territorial integrity of Fiji."
Commodore Bainimarama said the mandate will be put into effect once the rest of the interim administration is announced, possibly by next week. He also said that he will continue to receive the salary of an army commander and not as interim PM. He adds that no personnel of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces will personally benefit from any appointments by the interim government.
"Let's support his Excellency (Ratu Josefa Iloilo) and the path his chosen for us and to bring our economy on track and to achieve our true potential," he said.

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