3 Feb 2007

Fiji Methodist Church denounces military takeover

8:41 am on 3 February 2007

Fiji's Methodist Church has denounced the December 5th military takeover - 2 months after the event.

In a statement, the church says the actions of Commodore Bainimarama in deposing and then reinstating President Iloilo, terminating the mandate of the multi-party Qarase government and the dissolution of parliament are questionable under law.

The statement says the use of military power to usurp the mandate of an elected government must be viewed as a dangerous precedent in the governance of the country.

The Methodist Church, which supported the 1987 and 2000 coups, says the December takeover should be viewed as a treasonous act against the state.

The church has called on President Iloilo and the Great Council of Chiefs to show integrity and compassion and to stand by the rule of law, including human rights.

The Methodists say serious consideration should be given to having President Iloilo examined by a medical board and, if necessary, retired with dignity.

The Church has also called for the resignation of Commodore Bainimarama and his interim administration and the appointment of a new, politically neutral government made up of prominent and respected people.