Thursday, December 13, 2007

Naitasiri rejects people's charter

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

NAITASIRI refused to put the People's Charter on the agenda at their provincial council meeting yesterday.

Council chairman Solomoni Naivalu said they had not changed their stand on the charter.

He said the council had rejected the charter because they believe rejection was the right option.

The former SDL minister said the interim Government did not have the mandate from the people to carry out such an exercise and it was not provided in the Constitution.

He said if it was to run for 20 years it would have to cater for four governments who may come in with different manifestoes.

National Council to Build a Better Fiji awareness official Inspector Kisoko Cagituevei was expected to make a presentation at the Naitasiri provincial meeting in the Nausori Catholic church hall yesterday but late yesterday he had not made a presentation. Mr Naivalu said if it were to be discussed it would be as general matters.

Rewa chief Ro Filipe Tuisawau said they reaffirmed their opposition to the People's Charter at the bose vanua and their provincial council and there will never be any change to their stand.

"The reasons have been publicised and justified given the anti-Fijian action of the interim Government in downgrading of the Fijian Affairs Ministry and attempts to abolish Fijian communal seats," he said.

"That is the basis of the non-racial agenda of the charter which is anti-Fijian. I am not aware if an invitation has gone to anyone from Rewa but if it did and the individual accepted, it would be as an individual and his choice.

"As a chief, I reiterate that Fijians must stand together and recognise the seriousness of the systematic dismantling of Fijian institutions. It is frightening to read Aiyaz Khaiyum's roadmap in Islands Business (May 2007) which summarised his thesis and realise that it is being implemented.

"As for Voreqe's statement on Legend FM that there will be no communal seats in the next election, Fijians could just stay away from it all."

State against chiefs' plea

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

THE State will oppose an application filed by dismissed Great Council of Chiefs members for leave to review the decision of the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

Sacked GCC chairman Ratu Ovini Bokini the Tui Tavua, Bau chief Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Nadroga chief Ratu Sakiusa Makutu and Ratu Ratavo Lalabalavu of Cakaudrove province want a judicial review of the President's decision to change the composition of the GCC under Section 3 of the Act.

But before they can get a judicial review of Ratu Iloilo's decision, the chiefs must first seek permission to do so, thus a leave for a judicial review of the decision.

Ironically, under the Constitution, it is the GCC which appoints the President and Vice-President.

Under the change, the GCC will now consist of 52 members instead of 55 from the provinces.

"The State will vigorously oppose the application for a judicial review regarding the regulations made by the President pursuant to Section 3 of the Fijian Affairs Act," said the media liaison officer at the Attorney-General's Chambers, Brenda Ragi.

The motion is separate from a case filed by the same chiefs against their dismissal from the GCC seeking their reinstatement. They have named Ratu Josefa and the interim Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum as respondents.

Two days ago, the leave for judicial review case was called before Justice Jiten Singh.

He permitted the State to file an affidavit in response to the application.

The lawyer representing the Attorney-General's chambers, Adish Narayan, had made an application for both matters to be heard together by the same judge (Justice Devendra Pathik).

Mr Pathik had already fixed a hearing date in the constitutional redress application.

A date for the hearing of the State's application to strike out the constitutional redress application has already been fixed for January 15 next year.

I can resign, Qarase tells envoy -
11 DEC 2007

Fiji’s ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has reiterated his offer to resign as the country’s democratically-elected leader in talks he had with a special envoy of the Commonwealth last week.

Qarase told that he suggested to Sir Paul Reeves, a co-architect of Fiji’s Constitution, “some possible ways out of Fiji’s current situation”, which is similar to his proposal to interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama a few weeks ago.

In his proposal, which Qarase considers to be the lawful option for the interim Government, he said the interim Cabinet should resign and be replaced by a multi-party and multi-racial Cabinet, based on the current composition of Parliament in accordance with the Constitution.

He said once the Parliament has finished its business, which should take only a few days, the Prime Minister (Qarase) would tender his resignation and advice the President to dissolve Parliament in the legal way.

He said a caretaker Government would then be responsible for the basic business of the State for the period until the end of elections in 2009.

Qarase said he also explained his views on the proposed People’s Charter and related issues to Sir Reeves, similar to what he had told Bainimarama.

The Prime Minister’s Office confirms inviting Sir Reeves here to get views from different people on what they want for Fiji and the possible way out.

The PM’s secretary Parmesh Chand says the interim Government is awaiting a brief report from Sir Reeves, which will contain his recommendations on the way forward for Fiji through the People’s Charter.

Sir Reeves was Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand from 1980 to 1985 and Governor-General of New Zealand from 1985 to 1990.

Interim admin/Military won’t abrogate constitution The interim administration and the military will not abrogate the 1997 constitution.

Interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama said he knows that some people want them to abrogate the constitution but they will not take that action.

Bainimarama said they have taken a different approach after the December 5th takeover as the circumstances were different after the 2000 coup.

Meanwhile the Ousted Prime Minister has revealed that the SDL Party has already drawn up strategies to tackle any unlawful changes that may be made to the constitution and the Electoral Act. Laisenia Qarase said a lot has been said by the Interim Prime Minister that the next elections will be held under a new electoral system and many other changes are being recommended.

However Qarase said they have drawn up the plans on how they will counter any unconstitutional changes

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