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Momoedonu resigns; Iloilo reappoints Qarase as PM


Momoedonu resigns; Iloilo reappoints Qarase as PM
Issue No: 591 15 March 2001

In a move which was expected by many, the new president Ratu Josefa Iloilo today reappointed Laisenia Qarase as a `caretaker' Prime Minister of Fiji.

In his address after being sworn in as the new President, he stated that he had accepted the advice of the Prime Minister he appointed yesterday, Tevita Momoedonu that the Parliament be dissolved. He also stated that Momoedonu has resigned with effect from today, and that he was appointing Laisenia Qarase to be the Prime Minister. Qarase is to advise the President on the timing of a new election and continue with the policies which were set by the interim regime. Iloilo also announced that he will be instructing that the work of Qarase's Constitutional Review Commission be continued and that the new Parliament consider the report of the Commission.

The decisions taken by the President are clearly illegal and unconstitutional.

None of the constitutional provisions on the dismissal of a Prime Minister, or the appointment of a new Prime Minister, or the dissolution of the Parliament, or the dates for a new election, have been followed by the President.

The nation has now sunk into a deeper political crisis. It looks into another court case challenging the legality of the President's actions.

By entrenching apartheid in Fiji, the President, and the interests which he represents, will clearly see further deterioration in investor confidence in the country, and a prolonged struggle for the reestablishment of human rights and dignity for all its citizens. The decisions taken, which have been on the basis of ill-advice from bureaucrats, will continue to create misery for the ordinary Fiji citizen.

END 15 March 2001

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