Friday, April 10, 2009

Bainimarama calls for peace

Bainimarama calls for peace - Friday, April 10, 2009

Address to the nation by Military Commander Voreqe Bainimarama at 7pm yesterday following the Court of Appeal ruling:
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and all citizens of our beloved Fiji.
I speak to you this evening after the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal this afternoon.
As most of you will be aware by now the Court of Appeal has held that amongst other appointments, the appointment of the Interim Government by His Excellency our President is invalid under the Constitution.
It also held that His Excellency our President should in his discretion appoint a caretaker Prime Minister. It held that the caretaker Prime Minister cannot be any person who is a party to the proceedings. In other words, put simple, neither Laisenia Qarase nor I can be appointed caretaker Prime Minister.
Following the declarations by the Court, the state lawyers informed the Court that they would appeal the ruling. The right of appeal rests with all parties, as you will recall Qarase appealed the High Court ruling. We want to appeal the Court of Appeal ruling to the Supreme Court, which is the final appellate court in Fiji.
State lawyers also applied to the Court that a stay be granted on the declarations made by the Court of Appeal pending appeal to the Supreme Court. In other words, while we wait for our appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court, the declarations need to be put on hold. Unfortunately the Court refused to put the declarations on hold.
This afternoon, I visited His Excellency our President and informed him of the decision and the practical implications. His Office has a copy of the judgment. I understand His Excellency shall inform us of his decision soon.
The ruling of the Court of Appeal and its refusal to grant a stay pending appeal means, in practical terms that we effectively do not have a Prime Minister or any Ministers of the Sate. In other words we do not have a Government in place.
In meantime ladies, gentlemen and my fellow citizens, I want to assure you all that I, as Commander of the RFMF, together will all security forces shall ensure that there will be no disruption to law and order.
I also want to caution any person who is thinking of interrupting the peace and good governance of our Fiji that no such behaviour shall be tolerated.
I appeal to all of you that you must be loyal and patriotic citizens of our beloved country. Please do not be swayed by petty and ethnic politics or considerations. Do not be swayed by opportunist who call themselves leaders.
We must all think about and work towards building a better Fiji, a Fiji that cares for all its citizens irrespective of their ethnicity, not people who only think about themselves and how to win elections at any cost.
I thank you once again ladies and gentlemen and my fellow citizens for you attention. We now await His Excellency our President's decision.

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