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PCRC claims President has restricted powers in granting immunity
By fijivillage
Jan 20, 2007, 17:50

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President Ratu Josefa Iloilo.
The Pacific Center for Public Integrity has stressed that President Ratu Josefa Iloilo has acted unconstitutionally in granting blanket immunity to the military and its supporters.

Executive Director Angie Heffern claims the president does not have absolute powers and his functions are restricted by the constitution.

She says that parliament is the only body that can pass laws.

According to Heffern, if president is passing the decrees than it effectively means that Fiji's constitution has be abrogated.

She adds that all decrees are illegal and will face the acid test of the courts.

Heffern stresses that they will not condone the granting of immunity for illegal acts and acts of treason against the state and people.

She says that the only way to put an end to cycle of coups in Fiji is not to salute the coup perpetrators but to ensure that they are prosecuted under the law.

Meanwhile, the Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha President, Suren Kumar is hopeful the president has not broken any laws by granting immunity. However he agrees that it time to move forward as others involve in political upheavals in the past were given immunity somehow or the other.

National Federation Party, general secretary, Pramod Rae refused to make comments on this issue and Ousted Opposition
Leader, Mick Beddoes and Labour Leader and Interim Finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry are expected to comment later.

In a Government gazette dated 18th January 2007, the President granted the military and its Commander immunity from all criminal, civil, legal or military disciplinary or professional proceedings or consequences for their roles in the December 5th takeover.



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