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Prime Minister condemns Fijian President's actions

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

5 December 2006 Media Statement

Prime Minister condemns Fijian President's actions

Prime Minister Helen Clark condemned the actions of the Fijian President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, in telling Fiji’s military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, that he could remove the government of Prime Minister Qarase.

“In a democratic country such as Fiji has been proud to be, governments are chosen through the ballot box, not at the point of a gun. Mr Qarase’s government was duly elected by the people. There is no justification whatsoever for the President’s actions,” Helen Clark said.

"The President has now acted outside his constitutional powers. Fiji’s constitution only allows the President to remove the Prime Minister if he has lost the confidence of Parliament. That is clearly not the case in this situation.

"I strongly urge the President and the Commodore Bainimarama to pull back from the brink immediately. If they do not, they will cause irreparable damage to Fiji’s economy and people.

"I have spoken again to Prime Minister Qarase this morning. He has no intention of resigning. I admire his courage and dedication to duty and the Fijian people. It is an example that those seeking to overthrow his government would do well to follow," Helen Clark said.


ENDS

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