Fiji’s President throws out Constitution and appoints himself Head of State

April 10th, 2009 - 10:03 am ICT by admin  

FIJI (BNO NEWS) – In a radio address to the nation at 11.30 a.m. on Friday morning, Fiji’s President Ratu Josefa Iloilo announced he has abrogated the 1997 Constitution and that he appointed himself the Head of State, local media reported.

Just before Iloilo’s speech, military commander and interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the country had “no Prime Minister, no ministers and no Government in place”. On Thursday, the Court of Appeals ruled that his appointment as interim PM on January 5, 2007 was unlawful under the Fiji Constitution. Bainimarama also confirmed he had informed the president of his decision to step down as interim PM.

“I want to assure you all that I, as commander of the RFMF, together with all security forces shall ensure that there will be no disruption to law and order,” Bainimarama said. “I also want to caution any person who is thinking of interrupting the peace and good governance of our Fiji that no such behavior shall be tolerated.”

President Iloilo, in his national address, said he had revoked the Constitution, appointed himself head of State and has revoked all appointments to the judiciary. Iloilo said he would appoint a new interim government “in the coming days”. He assured that he had the full backing of the country’s security forces and he directed Bainimarama to “take all reasonable steps” to ensure the maintenance of peace.

The interim government, which Iloilo said to announce in the coming days, will rule the country for the next 5 years to “implement the necessary reforms required for true democratic and parliamentary elections.” He said current laws will remain.

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