Fiji PM Bainimarama to resign as Army Commander in March


Thu 16 Jan 2014

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SUVA, Fiji --- Fiji’ Prime Minister and Army Commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama will resign as Army chief in March this year.

Commodore Bainimarama confirmed his decision during the talanoa session at Nakorovatu village in Wailevu, Macuata on Vanua Levu, the second largest island in Fiji.

Commodore Bainimarama announced that that he will resign to concentrate on his new political party for the general elections to be held later this year.

“We now have a new Constitution that gives you more rights than ever before, we are addressing years of neglect when it comes to providing our people with basic services and in eight months’ time, we will have the first genuinely democratic election in our history.

Under the 2013 Constitution, the Army Commander is appointed by the President after advice from the Constitutional Offices Commission.

In the transitional period, the Prime Minister will recommend the name of the new Army Commander to the President for appointment.

Under the Political Parties Registration Decree, any member of the RFMF is classified as a public officer.

It states that a public officer shall not be eligible to be an applicant, an official or a member of a proposed political party or a political party registered under the Decree.

Based on this, Commodore Bainimarama has to resign from the Commander’s post.

The decree makes it clear that a public officer must not engage in political activity that may compromise or be seen to compromise the political neutrality of that person’s office; or publicly indicate support for or opposition to any proposed political party or a political party or candidate in an election.

Public officer means anyone holding any office in, or as member of, a statutory authority, a commission, an office of a judge, a magistrate or an office of any court or tribunal, public service, the Fiji Police Force, Fiji Corrections Services or the Republic of Fiji Military Forces; or a person who is an elected or appointed officer of a tradeunion or of any federation.

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