Fiji Sun

SUVA, Fiji (December 10) – So far, army Commander Voreqe Bainimarama seems to have everything going his way. He has overthrown the elected government and removed both Ratu Iloilo as president and Ratu Joni as vice-president. Also in the bag is a list of sacked senior civil servants.

Now he is pressuring the Great Council of Chiefs to hold an urgent meeting where he would ask that Ratu Iloilo be reinstated.

But I doubt there will be any asking done when guns will be doing the talking. The question is - why Ratu Iloilo? He was not capable of making right decisions when the people and this country needed him at the darkest hour.

His silence seems to send out a message that he was no longer in control. By the time he delivered a nation wide statement criticising the army’s illegal takeover, it sounded very shallow and confusing to say the least. People had already put one and one together, assuming that Ratu Iloilo was acting on Bainimarama’s advice.

And if he comes back as president, Bainimarama will continue to make decisions for him. This means that Bainimarama will be the ruler of this country, sitting at the back and pulling the strings. And so the coup culture will always remain.

The Great Council of Chiefs should make a wise decision on whether to re-appoint Ratu Iloilo as president or not. The future of this nation lies in their hands. If Bainimarama wants to escape being convicted of treason, he has to make this coup succeed. The coup will only succeed if he abrogates the 1990 Constitution which clearly states that whoever overthrow’s a democratically elected government will be charged and tried with treason. If the 1990 Constitution is abrogated, it means that there is no law to prosecute Bainimarama so he walks a free man. History has shown, in Fiji and the world, that when a coup succeeds it creates a new order in itself. This means that a new set of law is created under a new Constitution.

Take for example, the 1987 coup by Sitiveni Rabuka. That was a success because Rabuka was able to abrogate the Constitution and bring in a new one which is the 1990 Constitution. That also explains why Rabuka was not convicted for staging the 1987 coup. However, George Speight’s 2000 coup failed and because the 1990 Constitution remained, it prosecuted him and his cronies. That explains why they are all on Nukulau.


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