In a statement released today, Naidu says his 'concerns' about the way the Commission operates 'have been growing' and the appointment of Qiliho 'persuades me that there is little point in remaining a Commission member'.
Naidu goes on to say that the Commission has been 'effectively politicised' and that Frank Bainimarama's hand in the appointment of Qiliho was inappopriate.
Like others, Naidu says the most senior officer in the police should have been appointed Acting Police Commissioner until a new one was found.
The militarisation of the Fiji Police Force has been a concern for some time but more so with the departure of South African Ben Growenweld who has been replaced by long time loyal and military acolyte Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho.
The National Federation Party yesterday denounced the appointment saying: "This shows that military rule remains supreme in the country and above civilian rule enforced by the police".
NFP President Tupou Draunidalo says the latest events in the Fiji Police give citizens no confidence.
"It is evidently clear that Police Commissioner Ben Groenwald was given his marching orders abruptly by the Prime Minister because three police officers are facing prosecution for alleged brutality on an prison escapee," adds Hon Draunidalo.
"The forced resignation of Groenwald is wrong, the appointment of the Acting Commissioner is a case of nepotism and cronyism of the highest order.
"Meritocracy has been trashed in favour of jobs 'for the boys'," Tupou Draunidalo said.
Richard Naidu's Statement
I have written to the President today resigning from the Constitutional Offices Commission. My concerns about how the Commission operates have been growing. However the way in which the acting Commissioner of Police has recently been appointed persuades me that there is little point in remaining a Commission member.
When the Prime Minister recommends acting appointments of Constitutional officers to the President, he is exercising powers entrusted to him by Commission members. He should not act as he pleases.
In the case of the Police Commissioner, he should have recommended the most senior available officer in the Police ranks to act as Commissioner until a new substantive appointment was made.
If he wanted to recommend a random acting appointment, outside the Police hierarchy, he owed it to Commission members to consult them first.
The Commission seems to operate in haphazard fashion, mostly on the basis of last-minute emails, reflecting either disorganisation or a lack of interest in good governance. Some things seem not to happen at all.
Many months ago, the Commission advertised for applications for the positions of Auditor-General and Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service. No appointments have been made. There has been an Electoral Commission vacancy for many months. This has not been filled.
Under the previous Constitution, the Constitutional Offices Commission comprised only non-politicians as members. This respected the need for independent constitutional officers to be appointed by an independent body. The importance of independent public institutions, independently led, is self-evident to anyone who understands how an effective democracy is supposed to work.
Under the 2013 Constitution the Commission has been effectively politicised, with four Government members/appointees having the power simply to outvote the other two members. Despite this, Government leaders could still choose, if they wished, to work consultatively with the non-Government members on appointments.
Instead Commission members are treated as rubber stamps. I am not a rubber stamp and decline to be treated as one.
I thank the Leader of the Opposition for nominating me to the Commission earlier this year.
She has respected the independence of the Commission’s nominated members and has never sought to direct me on how to vote or what to say in Commission deliberations.
15 November 2015