Friday, April 10, 2009

President abrogates Constitution

President abrogates Constitution - Friday, April 10, 2009
Sai Comment:
-Just as I and others feared! Now the true motives of the military and the current regime has come to pass-to do to Fiji and its people as they please with blatant and arrogant disregard for the court, constitution and the rule of law. It is the darkest day for Fiji after being given a life line with yesterday's ruling of the Court of Appeal. The President is nothing but a puppet of the military as we have all known up to now. May God help Fiji and its innocent and beloved people.
THE President Ratu Josefa Iloilo has abrogated the 1997 Constitution and appointed himself the Head of State.
In an address to the nation at 11.30am, he revoked all judicial appointments and announced that all existing laws remain.
He said he would appoint an interim government to rule for the next five years to implement the necessary reforms required for "true democratic and parliamentary elections".
He assured that he had the full backing of the country's security forces and he directed military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama to "to take all reasonable steps" to ensure the maintenance of peace.
The President further explained that the five years was necessary in order for the interim government, which he would appoint over the next few days, to implement the reforms he had endorsed in the People's Charter for Peace, Change and Progress.
"This is the best way forward for our beloved," he told the nation.
Judiciary, Constitution out, poll dates set

Fiji's President Ratu Josefa Iloilo has revoked Fiji's Constitution, appointed himself head of State and has revoked all appointments to the judiciary, announcing he will appoint a new judiciary along with a new interim government "in the coming days".Iloilo has also announced that Fiji should should have had general elections by September 2014.The announcement by Iloilo from the Presidential residence at Government House is a counter-measure to Fiji's Court of Appeal yesterday declaring unlawful, the interim government of military commander, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama appointed by Iloilo following Bainimarama's coup of December 2006.Iloilo announced the measures this morning in support of the moves towards electoral reforms by the Bainimarama-led interim government.

UN, Commonwealth call for calm in Fiji
The United Nations and the Commonwealth have urged respect for the law after the Appeals Court ruled the Bainimarama government is illegal.Radio Australia reports, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the people of Fiji to remain calm.In a statement issued in Geneva, the UN chief urged full respect for human rights and the rule of law in Fiji.The UN also says it will review its role in a President's Political Forum for Fiji, that the world body was scheduled to mediate with the Commonwealth.Radio Australia further reported the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, saying overnight: "Respect for the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, and free democratic processes are among the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth".He encouraged the military and political leaders in Fiji to respect the court judgment.The Secretary-General says he hopes the leaders and people of Fiji will demonstrate the utmost respect for the constitution and for human rights in the challenging times ahead.He hopes matters surrounding the court's decision will be pursued through the appropriate legal process.

Court ruling a victory for constitutionalism
Friday, April 10, 2009

THE ruling by the Court of Appeal is a victory for constitutionalism and the rule of law, says Graham Leung, a barrister and constitutional lawyer who is a council member of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and a sitting vice president of LawAsia.
Mr Leung, a former president of the Fiji Law Society, said the ruling would restore people's confidence in the justice system.
"It demonstrates that no matter how robustly some people might try to undermine the Constitution, it is the judiciary that will play a pivotal role in upholding the rule of law," he said.
"I appeal to all affected parties to respect the court's decision."
Mr Leung said the situation now called for wisdom, restraint and reflection.
"The interests of Fiji are bigger than any one individual, political party or segment of society," he said.
"All those who love the country should now work together in common purpose to implement the court's directives."

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