18 Dec 2006

Fiji's military commander says he didn't abrogate constitution to ensure recovery quick

7:12 pm on 18 December 2006

The head of the post-coup Fiji military administration, Commodore Bainimarama, says he had not abrogate the constitution when he removed the Qarase government from office to allow for a quick economic recovery.

Commodore Bainimarama has told Radio Fiji if the constitution is removed, other countries will move quickly to put in place more restrictive trade measures.

He says the existence of the constitution allows the judiciary to continue with its functions.

As well, the Fiji Human Rights Commission recognizes that the constitution is alive.

Commodore Bainimarama says changing the constitution will create a lot of problems for the people of Fiji and its abrogation does not sound good to the international community.

He says removing the constitution will only be considered if it cannot guarantee immunity for him and his troops for overthrowing the Qarase government.