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Regime can’t explain President's resignation

Regime can’t explain President's resignation

Tue, 20 Feb 2001 09:22:59 +1200

PEOPLE'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI Issue No: 495 20 February 2001

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Regime can’t explain when President resigned

The Qarase regime has been unable to explain to the Fiji Court of Appeal when did Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara resign from the Presidency.

Pacnews reports that Sir Ian Barker, one of the five presiding judges, wanted to know whether the government's team of lawyers had a copy of Ratu Sir Kamisese's resignation. He also wanted to know the provisions of how a President should resign.

The regime had submitted a copy of Ratu Sir Kamisese's application for pension as "a retired President". This, however, is not a resignation letter. Nor does the pension letter state the effective date the retirement began.

Pacnews reports that the regime team has not been able to provide an affidavit by Ratu Sir Kamisese.

The regime claims that Ratu Sir Kamisese "wanted to relinquish his executive authority as President" at the end of a security briefing on board a naval boat on Suva harbour on May 29 last year at about "1900 hours."

The regime is also arguing that the military created a "new legal order" when it assumed executive authority on May 29 and "abrogated the 1997 Constitution." This confirms the view held by many that the military itself had carried out a coup on 29 May.

The regime is also claiming that the Qarase regime is in effective control of Fiji and "enjoys popular support" with hardly any effective "resistance" from the populace".

In another development, the Radio Fiji reports that one of the judges asked the regime questions on the appointment of the judges, saying they were appointed unde authority of the 1997 Constitution. The regime's legal team is meeting this morning to sort this matter out.

Meanwhile, the Court has granted the legitimate Attorney-General a standing in the court and has joined him in the case as a friend of the court.


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