9 Apr 2009

Fiji court of appeal rules interim regime unlawfully appointed

3:53 pm on 9 April 2009

The Fiji Court of Appeal has found in favour of ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, who challenged the High Court's decision in regards to the President's reserve powers.

It ruled that the interim government led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama was unlawfully appointed two years ago and that the President needs to appoint a caretaker Prime Minister.

The court has made the decision on the basis that if the President's powers of prerogative did exist after Fiji became independent, they did not exist after the 1997 constitution came into effect.

The interim regime, which seized power in amilitary coup in 2006, based its claim to be legitimate on last year's ruling which had validated President Ratu Josefa Iloilo's decisions.

The state's lawyers applied for a stay on the decision but it was denied.