7 Feb 2003

CCF presents case to Appeal Court over legal status of 2001 constitution judgement

11:36 am on 7 February 2003

The Fiji Court of Appeal has heard the case brought by the Citizens Constitutional Forum which is challenging the legal status of Justice Michael Scott's July 2001 judgement that President Ratu Josefa Iloilo's dismissal of prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, in 2000 was justified.

The head of the CCF the Reverend Akuila Yabaki says the Appeal Court has finished receiving submissions on the case and will make a judgement next Friday.

The CCF is not seeking to overturn the decisions made in 2001 but challenging the legal status of what Rev Yabaki says is an undesirable and dangerous precedent.

He says Mahendra Chaudhry's dismissal as Prime Minister could have been acheived in a legal proceedural manner through a vote of no-confidence in parliament.

"It's guidance for the future in a country where you've had coups where two elected governments have been overthrown within a matter of 13 years. It shows that a country is not in good health. We should discourage people from going down tis dangerous path. The way to change a prime minister can only be done on the floor of parliament."

Rev Akuila Yabaki