Bula Bloggers. This is a sad Fiji Day indeed. This impersonating Acting Chief Justice Gate’s holding off judgement for some 6 months before releasing it on the eve of Fiji Day Celebrations is part of the preconceived plan in carrying out this coup. The judgement hurt us all, but it only strengthens our resolve to move on until justice prevails. Our regular contributor Tui Savu has sent in this letter, which we hope will ease some of the pain we are feeling at the moment. Let us reflect today and remember what Fiji was and look forward to what we want Fiji to be, when Vore and his cronies are brought to justice. Keep the fight ragone and don’t ever lose heart!!!!
Fiji is still reeling from the ACJ Gate’s judgement dismissing Qarase’s challenge. It will be scrutinized over the next few days, however its significance will be studied for years to come and as the President of the Fiji Law Society Dorsami Naidu said, its consequences are far reaching.
Those who believe the Bainimarama coup was illegal will not take this lying down and will continue to believe that ACJ Gates; Justices Byrnes & Pathick perverted the course of justice in ruling in favour of President Iloilo.
However, for those who supported the coup, like the FLP and the IR, it is a time for celebration and justification.
When one considers the coup history in Fiji, Judges have been divided as to whether the usurpation of democratic power was indeed lawful or not?
During the Speight coup Justice Michael Scott and the Justice Anthony Gate’s differed in their view of the coup.
The Fiji Court of Appeal upheld Justice Anthony Gate’s interpretation in Chandrika Prasad.
I wish to make a few points about the Gate’s judgement now, but reserve my right to amend in the future.
The main issue the Gate’s judgement deliberated upon was the President’s prerogative powers, which allowed him to ratify the illegal actions of Bainimarama and grant him immunity.
Furthermore, the court granted very wide powers to the President in times of crisis.
This brings up an important point concerning the calibre of future Presidential candidates.
The GCC should no longer nominate a President solely on the basis of their chiefly status, but rather on those having the credentials to suit the Gate’s judgement in times of crisis.
However of fundamental concern to me throughout the gate’s judgement is the wide discretionary power granted to the President, which presupposes the fact the President is mentally fit and capable of carrying out their presidential duties?
There are wide spread rumours of President Iloilo being infirm and senile, which should be a cause of concern for all citizens because in accordance with the Gate’s judgement, the IR can rule through him indefinitely on the pretext of preparing for General Elections.
Now that the Gate’s judgement has legitimised Bainimarama’s coup, they have virtually opened up the way for him to assume direct control of Fiji, should President Iloilo die in office.
Should the inevitable happen, then the question of having General Elections takes on a new slant because Bainimarama will force through many constitutional changes before even considering General Elections.
What then is the future of Fiji? Qarase and his SDL Party will now consider other legal options available to them.
What will be interesting is how Australia, NZ and the US react to the Gate’s judgement?
If they describe it as a miscarriage of justice and continue to put in place the travel ban, then it clearly shows the international community’s rejection of the Gate’s judgement.
However, if they accept Gate’s judgement, then it makes it more difficult for Qarase and those opposed to the coup to fight for justice.
It is one thing to say, accept the judgement and move on, but the law is only as strong as the people’s faith in the judiciary and once it is lost, then judgements amount to nothing.
Ironically, the Gate’s judgement instead of ending the coup culture, has actually perpetuated the same by providing a recipe on how to carry out a coup and get immunity.