31 Aug 2018

SODELPA says president's election unconstitutional

2:30 pm on 31 August 2018

Fiji's opposition SODELPA party says the reappointment of the President of Fiji could affect the legality of the upcoming elections.

Jioji Konrote was reappointed uncontested at a special sitting of parliament this morning.

Fiji President Jioji Konrote

Fiji President Jioji Konrote Photo: supplied

The opposition has the right to put forward a nominee but SODELPA MPs walked out before the vote.

One of its MPs Semesa Karavaki told parliament the call to appoint a president was premature and unconstitutional.

"We are not in a constitutional crisis here. What I believe, Madam Speaker, we all should have done is to seek interpretation of this from the Supreme Court of Fiji, so that we are not in a position that we are not sure what will happen down the line," Semesa Karavaki said.

SODELPA said there was a danger when the President issued the Writ of Elections it could later be challenged as illegal.

The Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told Fiji media their arguments were flawed and silly.

He said it made practical sense to make an appointment before the current presidential term expires.

SODELPA said the Great Council of Chiefs should have the right to appoint the president under what the party sees as the rightful 1997 Constitution.

The interim military regime abolished the chiefly body in 2012.