Fiji Media welcome court ruling
Fiji Media welcome court ruling
2 March 2001
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Media Welcome Ruling As Regime Stalls
Full PJO coverage on the
* See PN item 3242, 3241, 3240, 3238, 3237, 3235
(Pasifik Nius): Fiji's three daily newspapers today
welcomed the historic Appeal Court ruling upholding the 1997 multiracial
constitution, but the illegal regime signalled that it would not
In a front page editorial, the largest newspaper,
The Fiji Times, said:
"The decision of the Appeals Court is positive for Fiji.
"Those who might be tempted to
regard it as a backward step (and there
are a few who will seek to promote it as such) should wait while the
country allows the President [Ratu Josefa Iloilo] to do his job - as the
said that in Fiji right now there was an underlying spirit
"The parties involved in the appeal
decision have expressed their
willingness to obey the law as declared by the court," the paper said.
there are no guns to anyone's heads forcing their
so this time the welfare of the nation should take immediate precedence,
not the resolving of a criminal conspiracy and kidnapping as in the
Daily Post ran a two-sentence editorial: "The ball is in
court. How we survive will depend on how we play it."
The interim regime indicated it would stay on in
office until a
political solution was found to bring Fiji back to parliamentary
democracy based on the provisions of the 1997 constitution, the paper
on move came after the Fiji Court of Appeal decision
down yesterday "left the country in a deeper political slumber than
"While the five
judges ruled purely on the legality of the issue
stake, it failed to give clear directions on how to resolve the current
political turmoil, leaving it to the leaders to find an amicable
national broadcasts last night, both the President,
Josefa Iloilo, and interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase reassured the
nation that government would abide by the ruling of the court and that
the rule of law would be upheld.
At the same time, they appealed to the nation
for calm and peace,
cooperation and for the people to tread cautiously as the leaders
continue to search for a political solution.
The Great Council of Chiefs will be
convened on March 8 and Ratu Josefa
will brief the chiefs on the implications of the judgement.
Speaking from New
Delhi, deposed elected Prime Minister Mahendra
Chaudhry was quoted by the Sun as saying he was ready to lead the
He said his administration was
Fiji's legitimate government and he was
the country's legitimate prime minister.
Chaudhry said his government
had been toppled by a "bunch of
constitution being upheld is good news for the country,"
"Justice has been done so why not? I am the
legitimate PM and my
government the legitimate government after all. So, yes, we would like
to the lead the country again."
Deposed deputy Prime Minister Dr Tupeni Baba
called on the Great Council
of Chiefs to respect the judgement.
"We as a party [Fiji Labour Party] will do all
we can in ensuring that
constitutional democracy is restored and whatever attempt the
President's Office would like us to take to ensure the concerns and
interests of the indigenous community are addressed," Dr Baba said.
Welcoming the court ruling, second deputy
prime minister Adi Kuini
Vuikaba Speed said she was excited that democracy was still recognised.
continue to work for peace in a democractic society so
citizens of Fiji can look forward to enjoying life here," she said.