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US Government Condemns Qarase Band

Issue No: 621 22 March 2001

The Government of the United States has condemned the Qarase regime for subverting the rule of law in the country.

In a statement on the recent decisions by the President and Laisenia Qarase, the US Department of State spokesman, Richard Boucher, stated:

"We regret President Iloilo's decision to reappoint Laisenia Qarase as Fiji's Prime Minister, which apparently ignores the recent ruling by the Court of Appeal upholding the validity of Fiji's 1997 constitution."

"We have repeatedly stated that upholding basic principles of democracy, the rule of law, and international standards of human rights, as embodied in Fiji's 1997 constitution, would be a benchmark for determining our reaction to the crisis in Fiji. This constitution was drafted to recognize the rights of all of Fiji's citizens."

"The dismissal of Prime Minister Chaudhry and the appointment of Tevita Momoedonu as Prime Minister without reconvening Parliament do not appear consistent with the constitution. The apparent purpose of this exercise was to avoid reconvening the elected Parliament, whose consent to the appointment of a new Prime Minister is required by Fiji's constitution. We believe Fiji's crisis can only be resolved through respect for the rule of law."

"We call on all parties in the ongoing political crisis to work together to bring Fiji back to democratic government, under the guidelines provided in Fiji's constitution."

The Qarase regime has shamelessly been clinging to power, and plundering state resources.

END


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