Rabuka and coalition government told to follow Constitution

January 2, 2023 7:50 am

Opposition Leader, Voreqe Bainimarama has tonight warned Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and his ministers that the 2013 constitution, in essence, envisages and sets out processes that ensures, that despite the change of government, all its provisions must be adhered to.

In his address this afternoon, Bainimarama highlighted that since the implementation of the 2013 Constitution the FijiFirst Government adhered both in spirit and practice it’s every single provision.

Unfortunately, he says since the evening of 24th December, over the past 7 days, they have seen indirect and direct assault on the very essence, values, and principles on which the 2013 constitution was formulated.

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“My purpose here this afternoon is not to list all incidences that have directly or indirectly or in an insidious manner undermined the 2013 Constitution but rather to inform Rabuka and his ministers that they should immediately stop doing what they are doing.”

As the facilitator of the 2013 Constitution, Bainimarama says they think Rabuka is caught in a time warp.

“He thinks that this is still the 80s and 90s. He and his 29 Ministers and Assistant Ministers believe that being in government they can do anything they like, they believe they can remove or appoint anybody they like from the civil service, boards, and commissions, and diplomatic positions without following the Constitution or the law.”

He claims that they have heard reports that personnel from the Prime Minister’s Office contacted Commissioners from the Constitutional Offices Commission and from the Public Service Commission to tell them to resign because there is a new Government.

“Anyone with basic acumen would know that these Commissioners stay on despite a change of government. These Commissioners weren’t informed that they had the right to stay on. And why was the Prime Minister’s office involved in this matter when the Constitutional Offices Commission and the Public Service Commission are independent bodies? Where is the Attorney General in all of this? Does he understand what is happening? “

Bainimarama also claims that they’ve been informed that the Attorney General visited the Chief Justice telling him to advertise various positions that fall under the Judicial Services Commission.

He also questioned why the Minister for Home Affairs Pio Tikoduadua is asking the Commissioner of Police to tender in his resignation when clearly he has no powers to do so.

Bainimarama also questioned why Tikoduadua is making statements about a complaint, which he lodged when he was not a Minister against the former Attorney General.

He told all permanent secretaries and other civil servants and those serving on various boards, organizations and independent bodies to not resign from their positions, even though the new government and their supporters will bully, intimidate and even threaten them.