June 09, 2007

Post-mortem of a coup

Here’s some excerpts from a collection of writings published this week on the 2006 election and coup by various writers, edited by Dr Jon Fraenkel and Dr Stewart Firth.

The book “From Election to Coup in Fiji: The 2006 Campaign and its Aftermath” was launched this week in Fiji and Australia.

To download the complete chapter that summarizes the 2006 coup and its illegality go here. (Thanks to Dr Fraenkel for the link)

"Because the prime minister had declined to resign and the president equivocated, the illegality of the takeover had become inevitable.

“Bainimarama, having himself rendered the government incapable of acting, claimed its incapacity as justification for the takeover.

The military’s actions unleashed “an accusatory culture, and putting judgement into the hands of those who were not experts, also elevated the position of those with axes to grind on the mill of the clean-up campaign.

“In time, indigenous Fijian resistance to the interim government might grow. The Methodist church is by no means reconciled to the new order, and nor are the Bau and Cakaudrove chiefs. The government – short of money – will impose public spending cuts that are likely to stir resentment in the indigenous Fijian community, especially as Mahendra Chaudhry will be the minister implementing them.

“The May 2006 election, like that of August 2001, had been rigged, said the FLP leader, dismissing the ‘rhetoric about the takeover of a democratically-elected Government’. In these statements, Chaudhry was clearly positioning himself for an extraordinary transition from steadfast upholder of the rule of law to participant in an illegal administration, from RFMF victim to ally of the latest military insurrection and from principled democrat to coup apologist.

“The independence of the judiciary, which had been damaged but not broken by the events of 29 May 2000, was now to be more thoroughly compromised by senior judges’ assumption of positions under the auspices of an illegal regime.

“The RFMF had transformed itself from the guarantor of indigenous Fijian paramountcy into its nemesis. The FLP had cartwheeled from victim to victor in the illegal overthrow of elected governments, and the despised language of the 2000 coup (‘I agree with the goals, but not the means’) had become the favoured retort of those seeking accommodations with the new order. It was an event justified, like previous coups, by claims that perhaps Fiji was not yet ready for democracy, nor for institutions that had been carefully nurtured over hundreds of years in Europe and north America.”


Anonymous said...

your posts seem to be slowing down abit...though they are still worth reading. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

People like us, who look forward to reading from these blogs understand why you courageous bloggers take time out, to lie low, every once in a while. We thank you for the information that is being disseminated to us via your blogs, that otherwise we would not be aware of thru the mainline media. Thank you Intelligentsiya. You were after all, the trendsetter for all these anti coup bloggers.