Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Illegal Military Government Make Up

Fiji troops wanted out of UN missions - Wednesday January 10, 2007

New Zealand's National Party has called on its Government to be more vigorous in seeking the dismissal of Fiji troops currently engaged in United Nations peace-keeping missions overseas.

"These troops are part of a military that has overthrown the duly-elected Fijian government, National Party parliamentarian Murray McNully said in a statement.

"While ordinary Fijians will feel the impact of such a move, it's unacceptable that members of these armed forces are engaged in peacekeeping roles where they are charged with upholding law and order in other countries.

"It was made clear to the Commodore (Voreqe Bainimarama) before the coup that any threat to the duly-elected Fijian Government would have serious consequences for the Fijian troops in UN roles. The continued use of these troops by the UN is unprincipled, and the New Zealand Government must take a firmer line on calling for their removal.

"New Zealand has a huge interest in establishing long-term stability in the Pacific through the rule of law. We need to be very clear about that fact in our dealings with both the unlawful administration in Fiji, and with the UN," McNully said.

The National Party member said New Zealand's refusal to recognise the interim Fijian government is "entirely appropriate."

McNully added the administration led by Commodore Bainimarama is unlawful.

He also expressed disappointment that Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry accepted the Finance Minister's role in "this illegitimate government."

NZ critical of Fiji interim Cabinet move - January 09, 2007

The New Zealand government says the interim Cabinet which has been sworn in in Fiji shows those in power are in no way committed to a return to a democratic government.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Government told that the new Cabinet was not part of a freely-elected government and officials in Wellington would have no dealings with them.
Former Fiji Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry, who himself was overthrown in a coup six years ago, is the new interim Finance Minister.

Both Australia and New Zealand have warned that anybody taking a position in Commodore Bainimarama's government will face a ban on travel to Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters last week described the Commodore's appointment as interim Prime Minister as a charade designed to legitimise the coup.

Meanwhile, Ousted Opposition leader Mick Beddoes says Mr Chaudhry's appointment supports claims that the Labour Party played a part in last month's coup. Beddoes made the comment after Mr Chaudhry was sworn in as the new interim Finance Minister in the military-backed interim administration. Mr Beddoes claims Mr Chaudhry - who was overthrown as Prime Minister in a coup six years ago - had aspirations to return to government. He says his appointment supports claims by former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase that Labour was involved in the December 5 coup. Mr Beddoes says Mr Chaudhry and another Labour Party member have not resigned from the party, so are representing it in the new administration.

UPP 'disappointed' with Ganilau decision - Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The United Peoples Party is disappointed with Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau's decision to join the interim administration despite being advised against the move but has wished her well.

UPP President Mick Beddoes has maintained also that the decision of the Suva Constituency officials to "encourage Mrs Ganilau to take up the interim administration job.

"The UPP did not support the military junta and its Suva Constituencys decision to encourage Mrs Ganilau to join the military junta was not a reflection of the party's position and it was done without his or the National Executive's knowledge and I will deal with the actions of the Suva constituency in due course," he said.

Mr Beddoes said he was also disappointed that Mrs Ganilau's acceptance came just 24 hours after six soldiers came to his home in Sabeto with orders from Land Force Commander Colonel Pita Driti to warn him against making comments on the country's situation.

He said he was at home at the time with his daughter.

Mr Beddoes said that threats and intimidation by the military against unarmed individuals were "obviously continuing" and many citizens who have been threatened were not saying anything out of fear for their lives.

"Because of this all of the newly-appointed Cabinet ministers, Bernadette included, must insist that the military stop its indiscriminate attacks and threats against unarmed and defenceless individuals because as a Cabinet they are collectively and individually responsible for the military and if they continue as a Cabinet and do nothing about the threats and intimidation, then they will in effect be endorsing these acts against humanity and breaches of our human rights and will ultimately face the consequences of their inaction," he said.

Ganilau is interim Fijian Affairs Minister -
Tuesday January 09, 2007

National Alliance Party leader and interim Fijian Affairs Minister Ratu Epeli Ganilau
National Alliance Party leader Ratu Epeli Ganilau will be appointed the interim Fijian Affairs Minister on Monday.

Ratu Epeli told that he was on Taveuni and would be sworn in as interim minister once he returned to Suva.

He said he looked forward to serving the people through his appointment.

Ratu Epeli has openly supported the military's "clean up" campaign which began with the removal of the Laisenia Qarase government on December 5, 2006.

He had said he was willing to assist the military in its efforts to rid corruption in the government and move the country forward to prosperity.

Chaudhry takes up finance portfolio - Tuesday January 09, 2007

The new interim Minister for Finance, National Planning, Sugar Reform and Public Enterprises Mahendra Chaudhry
Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry is the new interim Minister for Finance.

Chaudhry took his oath of allegiance as interim minister at Government House in Suva a short while ago.

He will also be responsible for the national planning, sugar reform and public enterprises portfolios.

Chaudhry was offered the interim ministerial post and accepted the offer last night.

Eight interim ministers sworn in - Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Interim Public Service Minister Poseci Bune is congratulated by interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama after the swearing-in ceremony

Interim Public Service Minister Poseci Bune is congratulated by interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama after the swearing-in ceremony

OUSTED Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase yesterday said he was not surprised by the eight people sworn in as part of the interim government.

Speaking from his Mavana Village in Lau, he said most of those who were appointed yesterday were supporters of the Fiji Labour Party and the National Alliance Party.

"Their appointments confirm to me that it was the Fiji Labour Party, National Alliance Party and the Fiji Human Rights Commission who were part of the overthrow of the democratically-elected Government," he said.

He said the issue of the NAP was quite well represented and their appointment was an insult.

Mr Qarase said he had hoped that the decision by the Great Council of Chief was the way forward and he had agreed to that option but the military had thought it otherwise.

He warned that the interim ministers should be "must be ready to face the consequences" of their actions if the legality of the interim government is successfully challenged.

He said he was aware that FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry had been offered the Finance Ministry position.

He said Mr Chaudhry had "always wanted to take this position because it is a very powerful position in the Government," he said.

There were also reports that he had been offered to the deputy prime minister's post.

No comments could be obtained from Mr Chaudhry last night.

Cabinet formed - Tuesday, January 09, 2007

EIGHT people were sworn in yesterday to be part of the interim administration led by Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Suva lawyer Aiyaz Saiyad- Khaiyum was sworn in as interim Attorney-General and Minister for Justice;

Poseci Bune was sworn in as interim Minister for Public Service and Public Sector Reform;

Doctor Jona Senilagakali is the interim Minister for Health;

Former Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau took his oath as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade;

Former Fiji Institute of Technology lecturer Netani Sukanaivalu was sworn in as interim Minister for Education. He is a reserve officer with the Fiji Navy, and holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Manu Korovulavula, a former director of the Transport Control Board, now known as the Land Transport Authority, is the interim Minister for Transport;

Taito Waradi, the former president of the Fiji Chamber of Commerce, was sworn in as the interim Minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment;

Adi Laufitu Malani is the interim Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Housing.

Another eight interim ministers would be sworn in today.

The Citizens Constitutional Forum said it supported the return of executive authority to civilians and called for the retreat of the military from national leadership.

Forum Executive Director Reverend Akuila Yabaki said they held serious concern regarding the legality of the interim civilian government. "It would be far better for the military to withdraw completely and for a totally civilian administration independent of the military to be installed," he said.

He said the involvement of Commodore Bainimarama would not restore full international recognition as long as he continued as interim Prime Minister.

"Milbrook Commonwealth Action Programme on the Harare Declaration (1995) requires a clear path for the return of a country from the overthrow of an elected government to a general election within a two year period," he said.

He said the CCF supported the commitment of the Pacific Forum Leaders and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to send teams to Fiji.

"These teams could help chart the course back to democracy and the rule of law," he said. "We urge the commander Commodore Bainimarama to cease serving as interim PM as soon as possible for fresh election date to be set within 15 months as proposed by the Great Council of Chiefs," said Mr Yabaki. The Confederation of Public Sector Unions welcomed the appointment of Mr Bune saying he would apply his knowledge and expertise to improve the operations of Government.

Confederation chairman Rajeshwar Singh said they expected Mr Bune and PSC chairman Hector Hatch to administer the service within the confines of the various laws that govern the procedures and the terms and conditions of service for public officers.

More ministers join interim Cabinet - Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Update: 10.15am Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry has been sworn in as interim Finance, Sugar Reform and National Planning Minister in the military-backed interim administration.

He was sworn in moments ago by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

Next to be sworn in to the interim regime was deposed Energy Minister in the Laisenia Qarase-led government - Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi.

The Labour Party spokesman has been handed the Youth and Sports portfolio in the interim administration.

Ratu Josefa also swore in Ratu Jone Navakamocea, who was State Minister for National Planning in the deposed government, as interim Minister for Local Government amd Urban Development.

The Labour and Tourism portfolios went to ousted Deputy Opposition Leader Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau, who had to resign from the United Peoples Party to take up the post.

Mrs Rounds-Ganilau won the Suva City General seat in the 2006 polls on a UPP ticket, beating former Labour Minister Kenneth Zinck.

Former Mineral Department employee Tevita Vuibau was sworn in as interim Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources.

Former Director Research in the Agriculture, Sugar and Land Resettlement Ministry Jainend Kumar was sworn in as interim Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests Minister.

He retired from the job in October last year.

Cabinet line-up a mockery: SDL - 9-Jan-2007 10:25 AM

THE Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party Director has labelled the new interim line-up as ‘a mockery’ of the democratic process and constitutional rule.

In a statement yesterday the party Director Peceli Kinivuwai stated that it was demonstrated by the fact that the new line-up included people who failed to win seats in the May 2006 election and condemned the stand taken by National Alliance Party of Fiji with the inclusion of some its members who contested the election.

“We leave it to the people of Fiji to make their own decisions and now clearly see what the real purpose of the clean up campaign and who the shadowy figures behind the scenes are,” Kinivuwai said.

“We cannot win the race if we continue to put the wrong foot forward and the people should be ready to face the negative consequences of this whole impasse.”

He concluded that in ousted Commissioner of Police, Andrew Hughes’ last national interview on TV clearly stated that the shadowy figures behind the military were failed politicians who could not win the election.

“This had been clearly evident in the Cabinet line-up announced by the military where the National Alliance has been prominent.”

“The SDL would like to maintain its stand that it will not support anything that is not within the constitution,” he added.

Law society declines to comment about AG’s appointment
9-Jan-2007 10:26 AM

THE Fiji Law Society says it cannot comment on Aiyaz Khaiyum’s appointment as the Interim Attorney General yet.

And the society President Devanesh Sharma said yesterday that whether they welcome Khaiyum’s appointment or not will be discussed in the society’s meeting which will be held soon.

Sharma added that he could not state whether Khaiyum will still be a member of the law society after he was sworn-in.

However, Sharma did not hesitate to say that the interim government is illegal and the appointment of ministers is illegal as wel

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