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No Stay Order On Constitution Judgment

Issue No: 308 21 December 2000

The application by the Qarase regime for a stay order on the Chandrika Prasad decision has been rejected by the High Court.

Rejecting the application yesterday, High Court judge, Justice Anthony Gates stated that the courts do not have the authority to make a stay order which would suspend the Constitution.

Justice Gates had earlier issued numerous declaratory orders in a case filed by farmer Chandrika Prasad. These declarations included one stating that the 1997 Constitution was not lawfully abrogated and it still remains the supreme law of Fiji. He also declared the attempted abrogation of the Parliament as illegal. (see for the full text of the judgment).

The interim regime Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase stated yesterday that the regime will appeal the decision on the stay order to the Court of Appeal.

Dr. Tupeni Baba of the People's Coalition Government stated that the court decision was now clear and that a Government of National Unity should be formed in the new year. The Qarase regime, however, is adamant to rule Fiji despite the regime being declared illegal.

END 21 December 2000

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