International condemnation pours in…

Bainimarama blocking Fiji elections, says Smith

By Pacific correspondent Campbell Cooney, ABC news, 9 Oct 2008

Commodore Bainimarama is accused of standing in the way of holding fair elections. Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says Fiji’s coup leader and interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, is the obstacle preventing the country’s return to democracy.

Fiji’s High Court has ruled the military’s removal of the elected government in 2006 was not illegal under the country’s constitution.

But Mr Smith says Commodore Bainimarama is standing in the way of holding fair elections. “Whatever he holds up as his excuse or his reason, it’s a breach of faith and it’s a lack of honour,” Mr Smith said.

“He looked his colleagues, the leaders of the Pacific Forum, in the eye and said he would have an election and he is breaking that faithful undertaking if he doesn’t.

“We continue to be of the view that the only thing that is stopping an election in Fiji is political will.”

Ruling criticism

Ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase has criticised the High Court decision upholding the legality of the 2006 coup which removed him from power.

In handing down the High Court judgement, Fiji’s Acting Chief Justice, Anthony Gates, said the military’s removal of the elected government of Laisenia Qarase and its support for an interim government was not illegal under the country’s constitution.

Mr Qarase says the High Court has given legitimacy to military takeovers. “The judgement virtually gives you a passport to future coups,” he said.

Fiji’s interim Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says he is satisfied with the decision and has called on everyone involved in the case to abide by its findings. Mr Qarase has not ruled out an appeal.


 High Court dismisses Fiji coup case

By Pacific correspondent Campbell Cooney. Posted Thu Oct 9, 2008 12:40pm AEDT

Commodore Bainimarama sacked the entire government, including the President, who refused to sanction the military takeover. Fiji’s High Court has handed down a judgement that the 2006 military takeover was legal.

The legality of the coup had been challenged by the prime minister who was removed from office in December that year. In its judgement, Fiji’s High Court found the military’s removal of the elected government of prime minister Laisenia Qarase, in December 2006, and its backing of an interim government, was not illegal, under the country’s constitution.

The judgement also supports the actions of the country’s head of state, President Ratu Josefa Iloilo. The court has judged Mr Iloilo was also acting legally by supporting the decision of coup leader and interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama, including the President’s decision to enact laws granting immunity from prosecution for anyone involved in the coup, or for their actions since it was staged.


50 Responses to “International condemnation pours in…”

  1. Orisi Qaranivalu Says:

    Well SV can do a few things too if they so choose. Advertise here all the phone numbers and email addresses and mobile phones of Police Stations and Military. And government ministerial departments. Just put it out and let the people from abroad work the internet and phone lines while Tui and his group walk the grounds. If there is truly a W I L L then guess what?? there is a W A Y. We need to bend together. Billy where are you. Mark? PP, Natewa Prince sa sega ni laurai tiko. Adi K DUA LEVU NA VAMACALA IKEKA sa kena gauna beka qo meda vayagataka na kila ka Put it to some action that will bring about improvement. We know that blogging works to some extent and will always be useful in future but it is time we follow Tui’s lead and try something alongside speaking out from our computers. Se va cava ra gone?

    Tui, you are not alone. There will be appeals at the Burebasaga page and Tailevu and Kubuna pages on Matavuvale dot com. There is a Lau page there too but probably a lost cause so forget about them no offense intended to you all the kai Lau and don’t worry about it i am a kai lau too. But this is important for Fiji and if the kai lau do not know what is good for them then the rest of us will do what is beneficial for them in the long run. Let us join in and show our support. It is now or never.

  2. Tui Says:

    Saki FJ TV where are you karua, please GET YOUR CREW OUT THERE THIS MORMING TAMANA!

  3. Orisi Qaranivalu Says:

    Well Tui, seems you are the only man with balls around here. Now it is crunch time
    Any takers ? 🙂

  4. orion Says:

    Cant win that way. Get organised into a mass movement. Talk to another person (freiend, priest, etc) to help you organise and strategise. Go from there. Cant do it “free flowing rugby style. All motivation no stratgey. terrorists in power are too organised. Go for it.

  5. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Dear Tui,
    MM, LUVfj, PP, Billy, Tracker, NP, Jose, Ablaze, IB, Adi K, Na Dina, OM, and everyone in between .. YOU ARE TOO MANY TO mention.

    my email address :

    Please not ** This computer blocks all types of viruses so your message will float in cyber space if it is infected. If I have not responded in 2 days remove the virus then re send. It will get in. I look forward with the greatest of anticipation.

    Thank you Tui for pushing and succeeding in taking this fight to a newr level.
    Don’t give up. We are on the same team. And we want to win. 🙂

  6. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Please note ** 🙂

  7. daurairai Says:


    SOME FOUL SMELL HERE TUI….VOSOTA…you cant fool all the people all the time..

    This Tui is a fake, a military dump head from the camp trying to cause a scene that they are actually anticipating to happen. The military wants a civilian anti gov activity to happen right now so to reaffirm their claw on Fiji.

    The law is the ultimate controller. The court of appeal is next…but certainly not taking on to the streets…

    Tui, who ever you are…u can take your suggestion and flush it down the drain that runs down the cassava patch that saved your leader Vore..

    Vosota….u cant do no trick in here…we are all too smart for that….go back to camp…and come up with a better one…..this one certainly stinks…

  8. LUVfiji Says:

    Good morning sunshine!!

    Well.. well.. what do we have here? TUI ARE YOU SERIOUSLY SERIOUS??

    KB – Noted with thanks!

    Tui, I think this is wrong-timing. The military is out in full force for the Fiji Day Parade and it will be faster than ever to mobilise them against your demo. Just hold back please!! What say you, SV ??

    Anyway, I am going to check him out!

    C’mon FIJI, silence is golden no more!

  9. patience Says:

    The protest venue at RSMS/Nabua is right on the RFMF doorstep. I haven’t heard anything on the news yet.

    What time should protesters get there?

    I agree with wearing black since it is a day of mourning, while thieves party at Albert Park, celebrating their ‘judicial mandate’. Pox be on those accursed judges! Unf**g-believable. Such intellectual dishonesty, said with a straight face, live on television. Isa ko Viti lomani!

  10. Mark Manning Says:

    Let’s all take a deep breath and step back for a moment .
    This is not the end , but the beginning of something far greater than Fiji has ever seen before .
    It may seem like the end of Democracy , but just as much , it could well be the beginning of it !
    How many people in Fiji , now have a Political view , where 38 years ago , many had none at all ?
    In regards to the High Court Justices , and this is only about them , not the High Court as an Institution , how can a Judge appointed illegally by an illegal regime , make a legal finding without ?
    As they say , your parents are always your parents , but they are not always correct !
    The same could be said for any Institution , including the High Court .
    Now , I imagine , the challenge is to have the International Courts decide if the High Court of Fiji has made an error in Law or if indeed , it’s ruling is legal at all , given that Gates appointment was itself illegal .
    As they say in America , you can put lipstick on a pig , but at the end of the day , it’s still a pig !
    In other words , it doesn’t matter that Gates and the other 2 Judges have declared the regime legal , it’s still illegal ! And we all know that .
    So , will Gates be known as the Gates to hell ?
    No violence folks , don’t risk your lives over these silly people .
    Now is the time to consider other more effective strategies , even if it means leaving Fiji for greener pastures for now . And make sure you continue to lobby the International community in any way you can as Fiji has many supporters outside of Fiji .

  11. Mark Manning Says:

    I suggest the Unions in Australia etc. be contacted to get their support and bring the regime to it’s knees . Let’s pray in the meantime , that God does his job and Francis and Co. develop cancers , strokes , cardiac arrests and various other illnesses and that these are carried to their families .

  12. Mark Manning Says:

    How many of those 3 Judges appointments were made by the regime , I know Gates to hell was one of them ?

  13. Mark Manning Says:

    By the way , let’s not forget the immense sadness and pressure Mr Qarase must be feeling now !
    I would say that his emotions would be similar to those of Christ as he was sentenced to crucifixion . He was an innocent man also !
    I’m not comparing Mr Qarase with Christ , just how he might be feeling .

  14. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Mark, in line with your Old Testament curse above [ pestilence, famine, etc ], wouldn’t it be great if president bernie pissed his pants today as his body guard holds him up to mumble his prepared speech.

    The whole world could then see the dynamic energetic character who is making all these wonderful decrees and proclimations – NOT.

    What they will see is a geriatric puppet who has been manipulated by a gang of murderers.

  15. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    A great summing up by the champion, Mick.

    “OUSTED opposition leader Mick Beddoes says the judgment handed down by the High Court on the Qarase case is a travesty of justice.

    Mr Beddoes said the judgment that was passed on the eve of the our independence day was a disappointing outcome.

    He said the judgment legitimised treason as a means of changing governments in Fiji which only served to encourage more coups in Fiji.

    “For the pro-democracy group, this is a setback for sure, but the injustice that this judgment has delivered to the people of Fiji, should be a strong incentive for those who oppose acts of treason, human rights abuse and coups to increase their determination to rescue Fiji from the clutches of its current illegal occupants,” he said.

    Mr Beddoes said unless an elected government was engaged in such horrid things as ethnic cleansing or genocide, none of the arguments put forward as justification for the overthrow in this case could possibly warrant such as act.

    While disappointed, he was grateful that the decision exposed the judiciary as no longer independent.

  16. Billy Says:

    Hey Tui bro, you caught me by surprise there, too much grog last nite to drown my sorrows. But I understand how you feel, sa sega ni gauna vosa qo, no longer time to dilly dally while our nation is burning. Just got up now to enjoy a quiet one, with nieces and nephies that I managed to convince to stay away from the damned celeb, all in black to mourn the blackest Fiji day. No offence bro, I wish we could mobilise the protests without breaking the law. For ppl just to gather somewhere for a sit-down without doing or saying anything? We need the biggest crowd ever from CGG/SDL/Methodist/NFP/UGP/NGO/family members everywhere, stopping traffick is not my idea of protest, but will check you out.

  17. Wailei Says:

    all the best Tui!

  18. Ablaze Says:

    Mark I hate to say this but remember Qarase accepted the Interim Prime Minstership after the Speight Coup. Could it be it has come back to bite him??????????

    I say we wait, raise some funds and put full page advertisements in the daily papers. Come on SV! A pity we didn’t think about it sooner, today would have been a good time to have one in.

    Like you say no point losing one’s life over silly people.

  19. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Just read this on FijiTimes blog.

    This is the main point that injustice gates and the 2 acting judges can’t see; the overthrow at gunpoint is illegal.

    “”””Hypocrisy Hater of Australia says…
    I think we need to make a clear distinction here.. Due to the way the case by Qarase and others was written, the ruling validates the idea of wide ranging reserve powers vested in the President.

    However, it does not say anything about how those powers were used, or more importantly, who actually claimed to have exercised them.

    ‘..I have stepped into the shoes of the President..’

    Does anyone remember that piece of fancy legal footwork? Given that much of these reserve powers that the court has validated were in fact NOT exercised by the Constitutionally appointed President, it still seems to me that the question of the legality of the 2006 coup has not been addressed.

    Just because Frank Bainimarama declared himself President does not actually make it legal for him to exercise the Presidents powers.””””

  20. ex Fiji Tourist Says:


    May God bless you mate!

    Best wishes and thank you for putting your neck on the line for true justice for fijians.

  21. Mark Manning Says:

    If the President was of questionable mental capacity at the time he made the promulgation , then one could challenge the validity of that promulgation .
    And I think this is the angle Mr Qarase should be following rather than the
    ” rights ” of the President to make such a decision !
    Should the Australian Government be asked to supply the results of the President’s Medical Records in order to help determine his mental state ?

  22. Mark Manning Says:

    It’s more a case of ” he who resorts to violence , has already lost the fight ” .
    Remember David and Goliath ?
    I believe that collectively , civil disobedience in the form of working slow and not processing documents correctly etc. union strikes including Australian and New Zealand Unions and any International pressure which can be brought on this regime , such as the peace keeping forces being returned to Fiji , these are better more effective strategies . As for Gates to hell and his mates ! Well , time will tell what their punishment will be .

  23. Mark Manning Says:

    The High Court addressed the legitimacy of the President to make a promulgation , not his competence to make one !
    I think Mr Qarase , should be questioning the Presidents ability to have made the promulgation in the 1st. instance .

  24. Mark Manning Says:

    Is this a case of people fighting to keep their titles and any perceived power and money that goes with it ?
    The greedy grab has started already !

  25. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Anothrt great comment on FijiTimes

    “””Murdoch of New Caledonia says…
    No surprise
    Banana Republic
    Banana Court presided over by three Monkeys
    Bananarama kicked out the legal Chief Justice so that this sham Chief Justice will make this exact ruling. No surprise at all.””

  26. Mark Manning Says:

    The grab for money , title and power has already begun .
    Let’s hope there’s enough left for the citizens of Fiji ones these hyenas have finished picking the carcass of the Qarase Government !

  27. Mark Manning Says:

    The greedy grab for money , power and title has already begun .
    Will there be anything left over for the civilian population once these hyenas have finished picking the carcass of the Qarase Government ?

  28. patience Says:

    Am just larfing at the constipated army nutter on tv explaining the parade, which has just started at albert park. Just realised its sitiveni raturada. Ia era sa lubeti vinaka tiko e rara, sa bisa na uca.

    Yes @ EFT, there was a very good reason for Fatiaki’s removal early in the piece. All 3 judges owe their elevation to the coup – Gates to CJ, Byrne brought out of retirement back to the High Court and elevated to President of the Appeal Court and Path(et)ik who like Byrne is beyond the retirement age, now an Appeal Judge. The connivance and ultimate betrayal of the constitution by the lawyers and judges, who truly deserve hanging, because they facilitate the fiction that the coup is lawful, allowing apologists to jump on the bandwagon.

    Truly, the full military parade, which will take two hours, with the military trying to show off its understanding of protocol. Quel honneur!! what honour! a regime that tries to say it is applying the letter of the law, but tramples all over the spirit of the constitution. Vakaninivaki dina!

  29. patience Says:

    Am just larfing at the constipated army nutter on tv explaining the parade, which has just started at albert park. Just realised its sitiveni raturada. Ia era sa lubeti vinaka tiko e rara, sa bisa na uca.

    Yes @ EFT, there was a very good reason for Fatiaki’s removal early in the piece. All 3 judges owe their elevation to the coup – Gates to CJ, Byrne brought out of retirement back to the High Court and elevated to President of the Appeal Court and Path(et)ik who like Byrne is beyond the retirement age, now an Appeal Judge. The connivance and ultimate betrayal of the constitution by the lawyers and judges, who truly deserve hanging, because they facilitate the fiction that the coup is lawful, allowing apologists to jump on the bandwagon.

    Truly, the full military parade, which will take two hours, with the military trying to show off its understanding of protocol. Quel honneur!! what honour! a regime that tries to say it is applying the letter of the law, but tramples all over the spirit of the constitution. Vakaninivaki dina!

    Doesn’t look like much of a crowd. Did the rent-a-crowd civil servants march this morning??

    But the illegals are building their army. A show of strength this morning with Army, Navy, Police, Prisons all marching. President met by iPM Commander RFMF, Colonel Naivalurua Prisons Comm and Captain Teleni, Police Commissioner. Militarisation has truly arrived. They’re here for the long haul fellow bloggers.

    They’re all getting rained on nicely this morning!

  30. Mark Manning Says:

    Please watch the second one to the end .

    To me , this is the essence of the island man and I hope you guys can keep it together and enjoy your Fiji Day celebrations despite what’s happening their at this moment in time . I reckon Iz and my friend Dobbs are up there singing their hearts out . Rest in peace Dobbs and Iz .

  31. Ablaze Says:

    Bring It Down Huey in bucket loads Please!

  32. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Tui, are you still there!

    Anybody seen or heard anything?

  33. moz Says:

    Hey all ..check out..
    Common characteristics of world dictators. Lets not be surprised by what Gates, Byrnes and Pathetic (thick) came out with. All 3 were chosen by the junta!

    For the record, a dictator guarantees none of the following:

    Freedom of speech.
    Freedom of the press.
    Free opposition political parties.
    Free and regular elections.

    Degrees of repression. Some dictators see themselves as a transition to democracy, but, in general, few eventually subject themselves to an election. (In Chile, Augusto Pinochet did allow two yes-no votes on his rule, and he left office after the second plebiscite, in which 56 percent of the people voted “no,” sent him on his way.)
    And there is more..

    BUT THERE IS HOPE – the dictators can be tried outside Fiji! See Spain

    In October the Constitutional Court in Madrid ruled that any gross violations of human rights or genocide–committed anywhere in the world and irrespective of whether Spaniards were involved–could be prosecuted and tried in Spain. So long, of course, as the criminals had not been punished elsewhere.

    So every dog has its day!

  34. Keep The Faith Says:

    Tui — kudos to you man for taking the step.

    The battle is far from over, in fact it’s just beginning! And if we’re surprised at the outcomes then clearly we haven’t really understood just how entrenched everyone in the IIG is with each other.

    Gates is himself an IIG appointee so for him to (in a round-about way) declare his own appointment as illegal would be quite funny. Somehow I don’t see him & his pseudo-brit accent letting go of his swanky car & personalised CJ number plates just yet.

    However Gates’ verdict is at extreme odds with Frank’s own sacking of the GCC. Technically if the GCC is sacked so too is the President — as the GCC is the only body constitutionally mandated to appoint the President.

    All the other BS case law cited by Gates to support his verdict could have been done by any paralegal worth their researching salt.

    By going through the motions of making the case that all 3 arms of Govt (i.e. Executive, Legislature and Judiciary) are in fact 1 ARM (thanks Gandhoo Gates for now showing that to the world), the time is now ripe to pursue redress through international processes.

    I see a Frank a’la Sadam drama coming up 😉

  35. ex Fiji Tourist Says:


    I wonder which hole bananas will hide in when his Sadam drama comes up?

  36. Keep The Faith Says:

    What ever hole he thinks to hide in, it won’t be out of reach for the ICC and the proponents who want to see Frank behind bars (or better still dangling at the end of a noose for his crimes against humanity).

  37. Billy Says:

    @Tui, vosoti au na wekaqu, couldn’t make it in time to the protest. Will watch with expectation the news tonite, you have actually put into action the pockets of resistance we have all been talking about, in whatever way possible.I pray also that you won’t get to jail, you are no use inside as there is more resistance to be planned in the coming weeks. Au na raica mada na news ni yakavi, au sa na sasaga yanii! Kalougata tiko.
    @Bull*&% party down Alberto, sa ra dradraluka only ppl that fronted up were the relatives, Illegal regime and the rent-a-school children & teachers to make up the crowd. Yakusurasura na combined march of the undisciplined forces. Of course they had to include everyone to make up the numbers, ke military ga, sa qai vakaloloma sara. Well the ppl have spoken, there’s nothing to celebrate. Saw the wives and families of IG – ateca g & co, mai rawataki!!! sa sega na madua e na vuku ni ruling se qai tau e na noa. Nomudou gauna e na yaco mai!
    @God bless you all bloggers, keep safe this weekend, everyone being monitored by the new RAF matadua! Thanks again Tui, we owe you one. O sa tekivutaka na wekaqu. Qai qo sa na qai ga!
    @KB, will be in touch soon!

  38. Billy Says:

    @SV may be time to open ithat bank a/c for the ppl resistance movement! We need money to plan and execute.

  39. benhur Says:

    Hey, the GCC is still in existence. Why don’t the Chairman call a meeting and fire the President and appoint a new President,Vice President and a Interim Government. The constitution is-according to Gate-still in operation. The constitution actually gives this right to the GCC.

  40. Jone Says:

    Tui, you the man.

    Comes a point in time action is the only release.

    Praying for you and your family.

  41. Billy Says:

    Vinaka@Daurairai, always good to be cautious.

  42. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Woo HOOOOO !!!!!!!

    Tui made the front page !

    Fiji Times Online .. oh I am dancing a jiggle right now !!!

  43. Billy Says:

    You have my vote @Tui! Vosoti au for a while there I cautiously thought it was someone trying to lay a trap. You’ve started it, and good timing too, flash protest!!! Vinaka vakalevu Tui! Now let’s see your initiative roll in the next few days.

  44. Glawyer Says:

    Thanks Tui for taking a public stand for the many of us who are disgusted with that bullshit judgement and this bullshit regime. Definitely worth more air time than the useless marching around by the empty vessels at Albert Park.

  45. George of Sydney Says:

    The fact is under the constitution, the President has the power to take action under the application of the DOCTRINE OF NECESSITY.
    This coup is different. The army takes over first by removing the President and then after he found out that the 1997 cant be easily abrogated like the 1970 constitution, he reinstated back the poor President and then wanted to use him to legalise his action using the doctrine of necessity.
    The application of the DOCTRINE OF NECESSITY if the President sack Qarase for a reason that warrants its application then form an Interim government to lead the country untill another election. In this case he will then invite the Army commander to temporarily lead the country.
    What a shame day for Fiji.

  46. Santo Loltsu Says:

    I have been following this website for a perod of time from now…reading about everything has been said by all of you…

    Just a simple question..?

    Why did no one show up to support TUI or whoever you call him when he was out seeking for your help..?

  47. Orisi Qaranivalu Says:

    Hey bro. Good job take them by surprise and you echo the sentiments of so many who just could not go out there. Imagine what it would have been like if you had a handful of supporters. Your families did well to stay home. You spoke and acted for them. Blessings brother.

  48. Talei Says:

    Tui – isa God bless your heart for your public show of opposition. The world is definitely watching and so I think it’s up to us the people to show our opposition more in these days – not just online but ON SITE.


  49. Maqa a Leqa Says:

    I suppose the Qarase judgement would also mean that the murderers of the Nakelo and Nadi men by the military would be also subjected to the amnesty that the Court awarded generally to the army.

    What a poor state of things. God please save Fiji!

  50. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Thanks Talei, agreeing sometimes it takes one like Tui to show us. He is at the Police Station right now with his family, accompanying him. We were on the phone until he was called in by Waisea Tabakau. I tried calling back to his tavale’s mobile but diverted twice. I am concerned for him as am sure you all are and naturally feeling kind of helpless, I keep looking at the clock .. and the phone. Pray.

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