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Military Says It Will Enforce Court Decision

Regime Cabinet Surprised When Military Says It Will Enforce Appeal Court Decision

Issue No: 410 24 January 2001

The Qarase cabinet expressed surprise when it was told by the military that it will enforce the appeals court decision on the 1997 Constitution.

Today's Fiji Times reports that the military made a presentation to the Qarase cabinet when it went to meet the interim President and the military's Commander-in-Chief, Ratu Josefa Iloilo. The paper reports that the cabinet was not expecting the presentation, and that it was surprised when the presentation, made by Tailevu High Chief and military's Col. Ratu George Kadavulevu, started.

The military is reported to have told the regime that if the regime's appeal was rejected , then it would uphold the decision and support the formation of a government of national unity. It further told them that if the military could not control the situation as a response to the ruling, then it would seek foreign assistance. The military stated that it was concerned about the military's national and international credibility and would do everything to maintain law and order.

The newspaper quoted an anonymous regime cabinet member as saying that the military made the presentation in an environment where no questions or comments could be made. The paper quotes him/her as saying: "It was a very traditional kind of set-up, the President at the top - the kind where you only speak when you're spoken to".

It has been widely known that the regime is trying to cling to power despite the views of a clear and growing majority that the country should return to democracy and the 1997 Constitution. The military has also now clearly understood that there is no substitute for democracy and the rule of law. Only these can work to rehabilitate the reputation of Fiji in the international community, and the respect which Fiji's people, including the military and our sporting teams, gain abroad.


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