Straight-talker Bainimarama affirms Government’s stand on way forward
By MAIKA BOLATIKI
September 13, 2012
There will be no caretaker Government to lead the country to the elections, says the Prime Minister.
Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama revealed this to the Fiji Sun yesterday while reacting to a call made by the Fiji Labour Party in their preliminary submission to the Constitution Committee yesterday at the Suva Civic Centre.
In presenting the party preliminary submission, FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the only legitimate way forward was clearly spelt out on the Fiji Court of Appeal (FCA) judgment. However, the Prime Minister reminded the FLP leader that they should only make submissions about the constitution and not the way the country is governed.
“My Government will not listen to anyone who wants to tell us how to govern the nation,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
“The Government had nothing to do with the FCA ruling and must not be brought up.”
The Prime Minister said FLP should not mention anything about the 1997 Constitution because it had been abrogated.
In his submission Mr Chaudhry said: “The FCA judgment advised that a caretaker Prime Minister be appointed with the specific mandate to oversee the process of holding general elections and restoring constitutional rule within a realistic time frame,” Mr Chaudhry said in his submission.
He adds paragraph 156 of the judgment reads: “The only appropriate course at the present time is for elections to be held that enable Fiji to get a fresh start. Taking cognizance of the principle of necessity… for the purposes of these proceedings, it is advisable for the President to appoint a distinguished person independent of the parties in litigation as caretaker prime minister to advice dissolution of Parliament and direct the issuance of writs for an election under S60 of the Fiji Constitution.
This is to enable Fiji to be restored to constitutional rule in accordance with the Constitution.”
Mr Chaudhry said they firmly believed that the President has the powers (Executive Authority Decree 2 of 2009) to take the following course of action appropriate to establishing a credible and legitimate process of returning Fiji to constitutional rule.
The PM said FLP should, during its proper submission, make proposals that would help the nation move forward rather than submitting old ideas for the party’s advantage only.
“The 1997 Constitution has been abrogated and that’s it.”
Mr Chaudhry also raised concerns about the constitutional process saying it was flawed.
“The process as sanctioned by Decrees 57 and 58 is fundamentally flawed – it is driven by the regime to achieve its own agenda. It lacks credibility, integrity and legitimacy,” Mr Chaudhry said.
He said there should be no immunity and the inclusion of immunity would promote coups in the country.