10 Apr 2009

New Zealand deploys Fiji President's move as serious backwards step

1:37 pm on 10 April 2009

New Zealand's foreign minister, Murray McCully has described the abrofation of Fiji's constitution as a serious step backwards.

Mr McCully says the events of the past few days will merely compound the problems faced by ordinary Fijians.

He says the decision of the Court of Appeal declaring the Interim Government unlawful provided a way out for Commodore Bainimarama and his colleagues, and it is a great pity they did not take the opportunity they were afforded.

Mr McCully says the President's decision, which he believes was prompted by the Commodore, to override the constitution, sack the judges, and depend upon the military to keep an unlawful regime in power, will compound the already serious economic difficulties confronted by Fiji.

And he says it will further delay the point at which the international community can give Fiji the help that is urgently needed.