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President defies Constitution

PEOPLE'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI

President defies Constitution

Issue No: 584 14 March 2001

Members of the Qarase regime are desperately trying to get reappointed by the President.

In an unconstitutional move, the Acting President today announced the swearing in of a new Prime Minister. The media reports that the new PM sworn in by the President is Tevita Momoedonu.

It is believed that the Qarase regime lawyers had advised the Acting President Ratu Josefa Iloilo to dismiss the elected Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and appoint a member of the Qarase team as a caretaker Prime Minister.

According to sources in government, the regime has advised that the President has powers under the Constitution to dismiss a Prime Minister in his own deliberate judgment. They call this power the reserve power of the President.

There, however, is no reserve power provided for in the Constitution.

The Constitution provides clear guidelines for the dismissal of the Prime Minister. This is provided for under s107-s109 of the Constitution. In essence the provisions allow only for a dismissal when the Prime Minister loses the confidence of the House of Representatives. There is no other power which the President has to dismiss the PM.

Sources close to the regime indicate that the President was been advised to dismiss the Prime Minister and appoint Momoedonu as PM who will then get in Qarase and other members of the Qarase regime into his cabinet who are members of the Parliament. These include numerous senators and another member of House of Reps.

The wrong advice which the regime has provided the President is seen as a way to engage the nation into another legal case and in the process give further life to the illegal regime. This is despite the Fiji Court of Appeal ruling that the regime is illegal, and despite the regime stating that it intends to abide by the court decision.

Many people in Fiji believe that regime will not budge despite the assurance given to the courts.

END 14 March 2001

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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