Monday, July 28, 2008

Absolute power very dangerous: Academic

Absolute power very dangerous: Academic
Monday, July 28, 2008

Update: 1:16PM AN academic has warned that the interim regime could fall into the same trap as previous governments that ignored the national good by pandering to sectional interests.

Doctor Biman Prasad, the University of the South Pacifics Dean of Business, says coup makers that put themselves in positions of absolute power often hijacked the objectives of the coup.

He said absolute power was very dangerous and the seizure of power through a military coup was an extremely serious undertaking because it meant breaking the rule of law as provided under the Constitution.

In his publication, "The rule of law and economic recovery in Fiji: lessons not learnt since 1987", included in the Pacific Economic Bulletin, he says the interim regime has already been accused of nepotism in appointments to government positions and boards of statutory organisations.

Dr Biman also said a perception that there were politically motivated objectives behind economic policies and budgetary measures was existent.

He said as long as such perceptions remained, it would be very hard to create a better environment for foreign investment.

Dr Prasad said while any arbitrary intervention by the State could hurt the investment environment, strict adherence to the rule of law by the interim regime could change deeply rooted ideas like "it was appropriate to circumvent the law to get things done in Fiji".

He said the interim Government should establish a culture of respect for the rule of law once democracy was restored.

"This can be done only if the apparatus of the State, such as government, the police force, military and the judiciary execute their responsibilities impartially, as established under the Constitution," Dr Biman said.

He said the 2006 coup was not the first in the world staged to remove corruption.

But Dr Prasad warned that from examples of coups carried out all over the world, regardless of its reasons, their objectives were rarely achieved.

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