Friday, April 10, 2009

Fiji in ‘unchartered waters’

Fiji in ‘unchartered waters’
The executive director of Fiji’s largest political party, the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party, says President Ratu Josefa Iloilo has taken the country into uncharted waters by today abrogating the Constitution and declaring a new legal order.
“It’s a sad day for Fiji,” said SDL Party director Peceli Kinivuwai.
Kinivuwai was responding to Iloilo’s address to the nation today where the President announced he had appointed himself head of State, abrogated the 1997 Constitution and revoked all appointments to the judiciary, with a new interim government to be appointed soon.
“He has set a serious precedent, where he has decided to take sides other then allow the rule of law to prevail,” said Kinivuwai. “I think we are going into unchartered waters.”
Today’s announcement followed yesterday’s Appeals Court ruling that the interim government was illegal, and which advised the President to appoint an independent person as caretaker Prime Minister, who would then advise the President to dissolve Parliament and make way for elections.
Iloilo today also announced Fiji should have general elections by September 2014 after the completion of electoral reforms, strongly advocated by Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, the head of Fiji’s military and who led the interim government yesterday declared unlawful by the Appeals Court.

Elections by September, 2014 - Friday, April 10, 2009
THE next interim government will be required to hold "true parliamentary elections by September 2014 at the latest".
President Ratu Josefo Iloilo said five years was sufficient time to effect the necessary reforms, and called on all citizens "to work with me and the soon to be appointed interim government".
Over the next few days, Ratu Josefa, as the Head of State, will make new decrees as he installs a new legal order.
"New judicial appointments will need to be made for all judges, magistrates and other judicial officers," he said, after abrogating the 1997 Constitution.
"In this respect I shall be inviting suitable individuals over the next few days to join or rejoin the bench under the new legal order."
He added that he would announce a new interim Cabinet and make "other institutional appointments" over the next few days.

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