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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Overthrown Fiji government was illegal and undemocratical: Fiji Human Rights Commission

What originally appears to be an illegal military takeover of a legitimate and democratically elected Fiji government which raised widespread condemnation throughout the world, has taken another twist with the publication of a recent report by the Fiji Human Rights Commission saying that Laisenia Qarase's deposed government was not legitimate and democratically elected.

In the report, Fiji Human Rights Commission Director Dr Shaista Shameem said that the 2006 elections were not held in compliance with the 1997 Constitution. She also added that the legal basis of the 2001 elections, that was also won by ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party, is also in doubt.

According the report, investigations and assessment of the allegation that the military commander overthrew a legitimate and democratically elected government of Fiji has concrete conclusions that the legal basis of the 2001 elections is in doubt and the Government of 2006 appeared not to have been elected according to the provisions of the 1997 Constitution.

Dr Shameem stated that only an accurate assessment of boundaries based on up-to-date Census would be able to determine if any Government is the constitutional Government of Fiji. Therefore, whether there is an illegality or legality associated with the Commander overthrowing a Government which was elected unconstitutionally and therefore illegally, may be a matter for the courts to decide.

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