Pacific Islands Forum condemns Fiji takeover
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Toke Talagi, the Pacific Islands Forum chairman and Premier of Niue, has condemned the Fijian president's decision to abrogate the constitution.
"I condemn the actions of the military regime in Fiji to date, the abrogation of the Constitution and reappointment of members of the previous Interim Government in direct contravention of Fiji law as determined by the Court of Appeal on 9th April 2009," Mr Talagi said.
"The hopes and aspirations of many in Fiji and the wider region, just briefly raised by the Court of Appeal decision on 9 April, have been dashed by the unilateral and irresponsible actions of President Iloilo and Commodore Bainimarama."
President Ratu Josefa Iloilo abrogated the country's constitution and revoked all judicial appointments last Friday in response to a Court of Appeal decision declaring the removal of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and the appointment of military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama as interim Prime Minister unlawful.
The Forum has pressed Fiji for a return to democracy, and in January set a deadline for Fiji to set a date for elections to be held this year. Now Talagi has written to other Pacific leaders seeking their views on whether Fiji should be immediately suspended from the Forum.
"I want to also ascertain from them whether we should take the actions that have been agreed to in Papua New Guinea at the beginning of this year with respect to the suspension of the interim regime from taking part in any of the forum meetings and so on," he said.
Several Pacific leaders now see Fiji's suspension as inevitable. "The reality is that unless there is some miraculous turn around of events, Fiji is going to be suspended by the forum in roughly two weeks," said New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
Samoan Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi agrees. "Membership of Fiji in the Forum organisation should be ended," he said.
He called upon Fijian church leaders to approach Bainimarama and tell him that what he is doing is wrong.
Bainimarama was reappointed as Fijian Prime Minister on Saturday.
Fiji's government was overthrown by a military coup in 2006.
- "Journalists deported from Fiji" — Wikinews, April 13, 2009
- "Bainimarama sworn in as Fiji caretaker PM" — Wikinews, April 10, 2009
- "Australia and New Zealand condemn Fiji takeover" — Wikinews, April 10, 2009
- "Fiji's President abrogates constitution" — Wikinews, April 10, 2009
- "Fiji court rules interim regime unlawful" — Wikinews, April 9, 2009
- "Talagi condemns actions of Fiji's military" — Radio New Zealand International, April 16, 2009
- "Forum chair says any suspension of Fiji will be against interim regime" — Radio New Zealand International, April 16, 2009
- "Samoa sees Fiji’s Forum suspension as inevitable" — Radio New Zealand International, April 16, 2009
- "Fiji faces expulsion from forum, Key backs immediate action" — 3 News, April 16, 2009
- Alan Ah Mu. "Fiji dictator mentally ill: PM" — Samoa Observer, April 15, 2009
- Press Release: "Statement by Forum Chair on situation in Fiji" — Pacific Islands Forum, April 15, 2009
- "President abrogates Constitution" — Fiji Times, April 10, 2009
- "Pacific leaders set Fiji deadline" — BBC World, January 27, 2009