Thursday, October 09, 2008

Fiji: judgement day

The Fiji Supreme High Court is currently delivering its ruling on the legality of the coup. The ruling has already been disrupted by a bomb threat. Its difficult to imagine the court ruling the court was legal (particularly given past rulings around the 2000 coup and the interim government set up in its wake), but ABC is apparently reporting the judges are expected to rule 2 - 1 in favour of the military.

I'll have more as it comes in.

Update: Bloody hell! They've ruled the coup was legal!

A ruling handed down by acting Chief Justice Anthony Gates – as head of a three judge panel including Justices Devendra Pathik and John Byrne – said they found that the President Ratu Josefa Iloilo’s actions during the period in question were lawful and valid.

Other actions the panel upheld as valid and lawful were the appointment of Dr Jona Senilagakali as caretaker prime minister and his submission that Parliament be dissolved; the President’s decision to rule directly by promulgation; the President’s power to promulgate laws and the decision to grant immunity to those behind or involved in the takeover.

I'm hoping to find a copy of the full judgement, but it is very difficult to square this with the explicit provisions of the Fijian Constitution that the President can only dismiss the Prime Minister if they have lost the confidence of Parliament. If they've wriggled around that, then what they've basically said is that Fiji's constitution means nothing...