Friday, April 10, 2009

A ray of hope- Now Extinguished

A ray of hope - Friday, April 10, 2009
Sai Comment:
- This Fiji Times editorial was clearly hopeful though premature as we now know! The truth was, it was never on the card. Voreqe and his regime will never accept the court ruling as it went against their wishes so no doubt they were always going to manipulate the ailing President to abrogate the Constitution as their last resort of holding on to power and to bring about their illegal and illegitimate designs on the government and people of Fiji. They will soon to be found out just like they have been in the Appeal Court ruling. They may run for now but they will never be able to hide from the glare of the burning desires of the people to live in a country that is governed by those who they elect through a process that is of their choice and not one that is imposed on them. May they fail miserably as they have up to now.

WE applaud Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama's decision to await the President's decision to accept the declaration of the Fiji Court of Appeal.
In an unprecedented move, Bainimarama declared to the nation Fiji was effectively without a government until such time as Ratu Josefa Iloilo appoints a caretaker prime minister.
Few would have predicted the stand the military commander has taken.
In a brief, accurate description of the situation, Bainimarama – flanked by his Permanent Secretary Commander Viliame Naupoto and Police Commissioner Esala Teleni – gave a succinct description of the situation.
As of 3pm yesterday and the ruling of Justices Francis Douglas, Randall Powell and Ian Lloyd, the interim administration was held to be illegal.
Bainimarama visited the President to inform him of the situation and agreed to await Ratu Josefa's decision.
In his address, Bainimarama made it clear the court had declared that the President should appoint a caretaker prime minister.
That person must be someone not party to the court proceedings.
This means neither Bainimarama nor SDL leader Laisenia Qarase can be appointed.
The onus is now on Ratu Josefa to appoint a citizen who can take the country forward towards elections.
His task will not be easy.
As Bainimarama pointed out, the nation cannot afford to be led by people with narrow self interests.
We do not need any further unrest, given the current financial and political difficulties.
This is no time for celebration or finger-pointing.
There is no room for pontificating, accusations, retribution or self-congratulation.
It is time for wisdom, restraint and reflection.
What is needed is a collective calmness and respect for the judgment which has been handed down.
Not everyone will agree with the decision made by the judges – that is to be expected. But for the law to be effective, it is important that members of the public understand and respect decisions by the court.
When the High Court ruled in favour of the interim administration in October, we made the same call.
Bainimarama now has legal options which he may choose to exercise.
He should be free to pursue the matter in a higher court.
But his actions and words last night bring a ray of hope to a beleaguered nation. His restraint was an example which all leaders – traditional, religious and political – would do well to follow.
Last night Bainimarama came of age and showed that the interests of Fiji are bigger than those of any one individual, political party or segment of society.
In this respect he has outdone Laisenia Qarase who refused to respect the ruling in the Chandrika Prasad case.
The onus is now on other so-called leaders to be as magnanimous as the commander.

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