Thursday, 6 September 2007 6:12 PM

Fiji Again Under Emergency Decree

As of midday today, Fiji's Interim Government once again imposed the Public Emergency Regulations Decree.

The Interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, officially announced the implementation of the Decree, citing the conduct of deposed Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, and his political party as the reason for the Decree being put into effect.

According to the Interim Attorney General, recent comments and actions made by Laisenia Qarase and his party were deemed by security agencies as likely to cause instability. The actions were also seen as a possible hindrance in the path to the next elections.

The Decree will be imposed for 30 days, however, it could be withdrawn earlier or extended, depending on the situation in the following days. The Interim Attorney General stated that only those who threaten order and public peace will be taken to task under the Decree.

Laisenia Qarase and his Soqosoqo ni Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party (SDL) were deposed in December, 2006, after the Fiji Military Forces led by Commander Frank Bainimarama, forcefully took control of government in a bloodless coup. Qarase had been living on his island in Mavana, Lau, following the events of December but returned to the capital, Suva, last week for his court case which contests his removal from office.

There are to be no military road-blocks and the Fiji Police Force will still have the lead role in maintaining law and order.

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