Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Fiji coup - utterly illogical

It is said that Commodore Bainimarama, the army leader who has illegally taken over Fiji, is doing so to stand up for the minority ethnic Indians in the country.

There is an old fashioned technical term for this line of argument - codswallop.

There are two reasons why this argument holds as much water as a rusted collander:

1. The government of Fiji was a multi-party one, with a multi-party cabinet including members from the Fijian Labour party which, to all intents and purposes, represents the ethnic Indians in the country. The Fijian Labour party is led by Mahendra Chaudhry, an ethnic Indian who was ousted as Prime Minister in 2000. Chaudhry himself was not a member of the cabinet. Members of his party were members.

2. In 2000 Bainimarama had the chance to support the Indian minority. All he had to do was reinstate Chaudhry as the elected Prime Minister after Chaudhry was released from illegal arrest by George Speight in the Parliament building. This would have been the simple, logical, democratic and legal thing to do. Instead, Bainimarama went along with the dissolution of parliament and the constitution and appointed Qarese as interim prime minister. Qarese was then confirmed as prime minister, narrowly, in a national election. The new constitution dictates a multi-party cabinet. There was a lot of wrangling about implementing this part of the constitution, but at the time of the coup a few days ago, it had been implemented as stated above and confirmed below by Newstalk ZB Auckland:

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry says Government politicians have been warned by the military leader not to make any trouble. Mr Chaudhry's party is a coalition partner in the ousted Government and is yet to decide its next move. Mr Chaudhry says he does not know the exact state of the Parliament at the moment and will have to check it out.

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