23 Jul 2004

Fiji plans law change after failure to probe Bainimarama

4:09 pm on 23 July 2004

The Fiji government will change the law after President Iloilo rejected a government request to appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate the army commander, Commodore Bainimarama.

Radio Legend reports the changes to the Commission of inquiry Act will compel the president to act on the advice of the cabinet or a cabinet minister.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says the current legislation is very old and needs amendment.

Last week Mr Qarase had said the cabinet accepted the president's decision to reject the inquiry to look into allegations that Commodore Bainimarama plotted to overthrow the government if his term as commander was not renewed.

The allegations go back to last December when Commodore Bainimarama was insisting on another term in office in office in order to continue with coup and mutiny prosecutions.

Fiji's constitution requires the president to act on the advice of the cabinet on most matters but on others he is entitled to exercise his "own deliberate judgment."

Apart from the attorney general, the president can also seek advice independently from whatever source he sees fit for the good governance of the nation.