The abrogation of the Constitution by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo on April 10th is not only a treasonous act, but also contravenes the interim regime’s own document, the People’s Charter.
The Preamble of the Charter starts by stating in bold letters - We the people of Fiji
- "Affirm that our Constitution represents the supreme law of our country that provides the framework for the conduct of government and the people."
The introduction to the Charter titled “Moving Forward Together” amongst other things states the following:
• “We believe in an executive government answerable to the Parliament, an independent Judiciary, the Security Forces that enforce the law justly and are answerable to the government and Parliament in accordance with our Constitution”.
• “We believe in a free, accountable and responsible media that reports truthfully and promotes good and just governance and national development, and holds all institutions accountable including itself”.
The draft People’s Charter has been widely circulated since August 2008 after its formulation by National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF).
For five months, the regime dispatched teams to all corners of the country who obtained approval signatures from the people through dubious means. Civil servants like police, military and teachers were compelled into giving their approval.
On December 19 2008, the President gave formal approval to the Charter claiming 64% of Fiji’s population was supporting the document.
Ratu Josefa re-iterated the 64% figure when he abrogated the Constitution saying the Charter would form the basis of a new Constitution.
His statement also contravenes the Charter preamble and introduction that emphasises the Constitution as being the supreme law.
So the regime after abrogating the Constitution, is now violating the People’s Charter by interfering in the Judiciary like the public service and imposing absolute censorship on the media – all through promulgation of decrees.