13 Jul 2005

US ambassador to Fiji warns against unconstitutional action against the government

10:34 am on 13 July 2005

The United States ambassador to Fiji has warned against any unconstitutional action against the current elected government.

David Lyon delivered the warning as reports from Fiji said the military would consider declaring martial law if the Qarase government went ahead with its Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce - Fiji branch, Mr Lyon said the government should be considerate of the opposition to the Bill from various sources.

He said the current debate about the Bill is a wonderful example of democracy in action with everyone speaking out.

He said while it might be regrettable that the military has been forced to enter the debate, its well-known concern for the preservation of law and order and the rule of law is understandable.

But, he said, any unconstitutional action against a duly elected, democratic government is unacceptable.

Mr Lyon says if there are court challenges to the Reconciliation and Unity Bill, he is confident that the judiciary will move with objectivity and dispatch in hearing them.