15 Feb 2003

Fiji Appeal Court upholds President' Iloilo's actions after May 2000 coup

8:36 am on 15 February 2003

The Fiji Appeal Court has dismissed a case brought by the Citizens Constitutional Forum seeking to declare certain actions by President Iloilo unconstitutional.

The CCF had sought a declaration from the Appeal Court that Presdient Iloilo's dismissal of Mahendra Chaudhry as prime minister after the 1997 Constitution was validated in March 2001 was unconstitutional.

As well, it wanted the court to declare that the dissolution of parliament and the appointment of the Qarase caretaker administration were unconstitutional.

In a High Court decision earlier, Justice Michael Scott had ruled that the president's actions might have been unconstitutional but he justified it on grounds of the doctrine of necessity.

The Appeal Court has dismissed the CCF's appeal against the ruling saying general elections had been held despite any constitutional irregularities, the nation had returned to democratic rule and it was too late to turn back the clock.