The interim regime has cornered itself with the retirement and appointment of a new president.
With the abrogation of the Constitution, there are no decrees under the new Legal Oder to make an acting or a new appointment to the Office of the President. Yet this afternoon interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, told Radio Legend FM the new President will be appointed by the Chief Justice on the advice of Cabinet.
In essence, a bunch of unelected personalities in charge of ruling Fiji through the point of the gun will appoint an unelected and unconstitutional President. This is remarkably different from the processes laid down in the 1997 Constitution the regime abrogated on April the 10th. Under the Constitution the President was appointed by the 52 member Great Council of Chiefs and symbolised the unity of the State.
With the forced retirement of President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, it means that the regime has to wriggle itself out of the provisions of the Executive Authority of Fiji Decree (Decree No. 2) The Decree promulgated by Iloilo, saw the ailing chief of Vuda appoint himself as President and Commander-in-Chief of Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
Iloilo promulgated that until Parliament is elected in accordance with a Constitution yet to be adopted by the people of Fiji, he as President possessed the powers to appoint the interim Prime Minister, interim Ministers, make laws and exercise executive authority.
The Decree does not contain any provisions for the resignation, retirement, replacement or the appointment of a President.
The Office of Vice-President and Succession Decree (Decree No. 8) dated April the 16th, also does not lay out provisions for the appointment of a President. It basically states the Vice-President is appointed for a term of 5 years.
Our sources say it is likely a new Decree or amendments to Decrees 2 and 8 will be made in Iloilo's name while he is still on leave before proceeding to retirement.
It's yet another example of poor judgment of the law by the interim Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiym. He's been known to have given the wrong advice to Iloilo at least three times, regarding the provisions of the 1997 Constitution.
A new Decree or amendments to the previous decrees are likely to contain procedures for the Presidential appointment to be made by Chief Justice Anthony Gates on advice from the interim Cabinet.
It's also taylor made criteria for regime sympathisers, including the current Vice President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, and even Frank Bainimarama to become the next President.