9 Apr 2009

Ousted Fiji PM welcomes court of appeal ruling against coup regime

5:42 pm on 9 April 2009

Fiji' ousted prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has welcomed the appeal court ruling which invalidated the President's move in 2007 to appoint the interim regime after it had seized power in a military coup in 2006.

The court of appeal found that under the 1997 constitution, the president lacked the reserve powers which were invoked to legitimise the coup.

Mr Qarase says this means the president is not above the constitution.

"One thing is for certain, the constitution of Fiji of 1997 is the supreme law is the supreme law of the land and it has to be respected by everybody, including the president. Now, the decision today, has restored the correct legal position when there is an illegal overthrow of an elected government for the dissolution of parliament. That has become very loud and clear today."

Laisenia Qarase.

The court of appeal says the president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, needs to appoint a caretaker prime minister.

The interim government plans to appeal its demise in the Supeme Court.