Friday, April 10, 2009

Australia condemns 'backward' decisions

Australia condemns 'backward' decisions
Friday, April 10, 2009


AUSTRALIA's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has condemned the abrogation of Fiji's Constitution and the deferment of a general election to 2014.
According to The Australian, Mr Rudd called on Ratu Josefa Iloilo, who appointed himself Head of State after abolishing the Constitution, to take Fiji "forwards and not backwards".
He said the recent moves away from democracy and the rule of law at a time of economic decline for the Pacific nation was a grave and unwelcome development.
Australia remains firmly of the view that Fiji needs to be returned to democracy as soon as possible," said Mr Rudd.

Australia condemns Fiji action
www.fijilive.com - 10/04/2009

Australia has condemned the abolition of Fiji's constitution by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo and described the delay of elections to 2014 as "completely unacceptable."Iloilo appointed himself head of state and said he had established a "new legal order" following Thursday's Court of Appeal ruling that the country's interim government regime was illegally appointed following the 2006 coup.He also sacked the country's judges."
The Australian government strongly condemns today's abrogation of the constitution in Fiji and calls upon the president to (use) the opportunity of yesterday's Court of Appeal decision to take Fiji forwards and not backwards," Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said."(The) Court of Appeal ruled clearly that the ousting of the democratically elected Qarase government in 2006 was invalid, that Bainimarama's interim government was illegal, and recommended that elections should be held promptly," Rudd said in a statement."
This is the right course for Fiji and the only way forward for the people of Fiji."Rudd said it was "completely unacceptable" to delay elections until 2014, and said the move away from democracy and the rule of law at a time of economic decline for the Pacific nation was a "grave and unwelcome development.""Australia remains firmly of the view that Fiji needs to be returned to democracy as soon as possible."
Australia has been one of the most outspoken international critics of Fiji's interim government since military leader Voreqe Bainimarama toppled the elected government of prime minister Laisenia Qarase in a bloodless coup in December 2006.
The 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum -- of which Australia is a key member -- has threatened to suspend Fiji unless it names an election date by the beginning of next month and the Commonwealth has threatened similar action by no later than September if sufficient progress is not made towards restoring democracy.

No comments: