Publish date/time: 17/08/2012 [13:13]
Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama stressed that he will remain the Prime Minister and Army Commander of the country.
This follows comments made by Suva lawyer Rajendra Chaudhry that Commodore Bainimarama should make up his mind.
“I think that it is about time Bainimarama also decides whether he wants to be a politician or an Army Commander. He cannot do both because there is a very clear conflict of interest and the Public Service Regulations address this. So why is there special exception for this man.”The Prime Minister said Chaudhry and the Labour Party leader cannot do anything about him holding both positions.
“I have been both the Prime Minister and Army Commander in the last six years because of the circumstances that we have been through and people have accepted that widely but I’m going to be the Commander RFMF and Prime Minister for the next two years until elections and unfortunately for him and his father there is nothing they can do to change that.”Rajendra Chaudhry also questioned why Commodore Bainimarama is raising concern about the constitution submissions being given by other organizations.
“It should not be influenced in any manner, shape or form by anybody, least of all by the Interim Prime Minister Mr Bainimarama who is obviously an interested party in the proceedings of the Constitution Commission and they are making comments on submissions by other political parties or NGOs. That is not proper for him to do. Let the people express their views, let the commission record those views.”Commodore Bainimarama said it is interesting that Chaudhry has changed his view on these matters when his father is no longer in government.
“I heard very briefly his attack on me yesterday. Of course he was calling me the Interim Prime Minister and of course the interim government. His memory is very short. Things have changed very quickly with Rajendra Chaudhry. Nothing was interim when his father was in government a few years ago. In addition to that he was also attacking my supposed interference in the whole process. He has been speaking out exactly on the same note against what we are talking about so obviously he can speak out but we can’t. That’s what he is saying.”Chaudhry has also said that the Constitution Commission should not be bound by any of the non-negotiable principles set out by the Prime Minister.
He said no matter what the non-negotiables are, if majority of the people think otherwise then the commission should take their point of view.
Commodore Bainimarama said the non-negotiables for the constitution are important because it is aimed at eliminating discrimination and race based policies.
He said it seems Rajendra Chaudhry has forgotten so quickly that in 2000, he and his father were put in one of the rooms in parliament for 56 days.
The Prime Minister said the non-negotiables in the next constitution is to bring about an environment that will stop people from doing the same thing they did in 2000.
Story by: Vijay Narayan & Ronal Deo