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Update on Qarase’s Appeals Court Victory

April 9, 2009

From Fiji Village:

The Fiji Court Of Appeal has just ruled that the dismissal of Laisenia Qarase as Prime Minister after the events of December 2006 and the dissolution of parliament were unlawful.

While delivering the summary of the ruling, Appeals Court Judge Justice Randell Powell said the President now needs to take the appropriate steps as the decisions he made following the 2006 events were invalid as the prerogative powers did not exist for him to take such actions.

The Appeals Court judges said the next step should be elections for Fiji but before that the President needs to take into account that a Prime Minister has been forcibly removed from office and no other Prime Minister has been validly appointed.

Justice Randell said while the Fiji Court of Appeal cannot govern what the President would do, an interim Prime Minister should be appointed who is independent of any of the parties involved in the case.

He said a Writ of Elections should then be issued.

The Appeals Court Judges did not rule on the promulgations made since January 2007 but they did declare that the dismissals and appointments from December 2006 in relation to the Prime Minister and the ministers were invalid.
The Court of Appeal has granted the state leave to appeal but the stay order application on the ruling has been dismissed.

and we like this very last bit!!

The state has also been ordered to pay solicitors costs to Qarase.

Kudos to all in Australia that gave generously for Qarase’s Court Cost.

And finally there is some sanity and reality judgement in all the chaos of the last two years.

We salute the people of Fiji for their patients, preseverence and resilience.

SVM Team

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Navosavakadua permalink
    April 9, 2009 9:18 AM

    What we have now is a test for the President.

    The court has told him what the law requires of him. He has no prerogative powers. His mandate is pure fiction. The decrees are all illegal until given retrospective force by the Parliament. .

    Most of all, the President’s purported grant of “immunity” to the military has been declared null and void. He does not have the powers to make such a decree.

    If the President does not immediately follow the court’s ruling then he is in defiance of the law. He was always naked but even his imaginary fig leaf has just fluttered to the ground.

    He should appoint an independent caretaker (not interim) PM to hold power until elections are held under the only constitution we have.

    Frank can go back to the QEB and relax. Why not take some leave?

  2. Fiji Democracy Now permalink
    April 9, 2009 9:25 AM

    Today’s finding by the Fiji Court of Appeal effectively declares that our dictator has been on the wrong side of the law from the time he used his guns to seize power in Fiji 28 months ago.

    Yes bloggers, that’s official! And what wonderful news it is!

    But what we don’t know is whether Voreqe Bainimarama will respect the court’s ruling?

    Or will he, like the outlaw he his, try and evade the law?

    Will today’s decision spur Bainimarama to turn his back on the Constitution and formalize his dictatorship?

    And, if that happens, can he be confident of carrying the army and his rag-tag opportunist supporters with him?

    Or will reason, common sense and decency prevail and will the army disown their commander on the grounds that he is only destroying Fiji in his bid to evade justice?

    The other crucial question is the capacity of our President to abide by the court’s ruling and appoint an independent person as a caretaker Prime Minister.

    No doubt all of these questions will be answered in the next few days and weeks.

    In the meantime, we can only hope and pray that, finally, our beloved nation can find the right path leading out of the catastrophe that has been wrought by the actions of an outlaw.

    We at FDN wish everyone a blessed and peaceful Easter.

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