9 Oct 2008

Fiji interim regime urges cooperation now that coup has been declared legal

7:45 pm on 9 October 2008

Fiji's interim attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has called for co-operation and support for the interim regime's election plans now that the 2006 military coup has been declared legal.

Three judges threw out the challenge by the ousted prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, who described the ruling as a miscarriage of justice.

But Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has welcomed the ruling.

"What is important which the court has also said that the president, the position that we find ourselves in particular with the travel bans that have been imposed by Australia and New Zealand and also in particular the non-participatory action taken by some of the political parties in Fiji does not in any way constructively assist Fiji move towards parliamentary democracy."

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Constitutional law expert, Professor Bill Hodge, from Auckland University, says those countries which have been opposed to the interim government can now be expected to recognise it as a legitimate administration.

Legal systems, international comity - international law, does recognise that extraordinary acts take place. Some of them may have the appearance of illegality but they can, over time, be recognised and the highest court in the land in Fiji has done so. I would think New Zealand, the United States, UK, will all come around and must come around to recognise a regime in Fiji.