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Interim Government Should Include Deposed Government
PCRC Media Release, 2 June 2000
The Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) regrets the deposing of His Excellency the President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Kapaiwai Tuimacilai Mara and the declaration of martial law in Fiji.
Speaking on behalf of the PCRC in Suva Fiji, Ms. Losena Tubanavau-Salabula said that PCRC recognises the efforts of the Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), to peacefully resolve the current crisis.
"Ideally, we would prefer the restoration of the deposed government that was democratically elected by the people of Fiji in May 1999. However, given the current state of affairs, if Commodore Bainimarama deems it necessary to appoint an interim government, we believe that it should comprise representatives of the deposed government, the indigenous people of Fiji and all other communities co-existing in our Islands", stated Ms. Tubanavau-Salabula.
PCRC believes that the primary objectives of any interim government should be to ensure the restoration of the rule of law, the return to parliamentary governance, speedy return to normalcy and safeguarding of the human rights of all Fiji Islanders, and reconciliation and healing amongst the major ethnic communities.
Mrs Salabula added that the term of an Interim Government should be definite and no longer than half the life term of a normal Fiji Islands' parliament - two and half years.
PCRC believes that all parties that have broken the law must be brought to justice under the due process of law. PCRC appeals for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.
Following the Military's abrogation of the 1997 Constitution, PCRC believes that the formulation of a new Constitution for the Fiji Islands should only be undertaken after a democratically elected parliament is established. The new constitution should be formulated in accordance with internationally accepted principles and practice, and taking into account the views of the indigenous people of the Fiji Islands and all other communities. In addressing the form of parliamentary democracy that the Fiji Islands will embark upon, the new constitution should take cognizance of the need to integrate the active participation of traditional and customary indigenous institutions in the decision making processes of the Government of the Fiji Islands. Before a new Constitution is ratified or decreed, it must be subject to a popular referendum and approved by a 2/3 majority.
PCRC believes that the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indo-Fijians and other "victims of history" - which includes the descendents of the indentured labourers and other communities forcibly settled in the Fiji Islands by the colonial government - should be recognised and guaranteed under any new constitution.
PCRC recognises that blanket sanctions will only hurt the people they are supposed to help and we call upon the international community to hold off on all sanctions until we see the colour of Commodore Bainimarama's cards.
Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) is the secretariat of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) Movement, and has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
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