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By Rakesh Kumar in Suva

Politicians can respond to the political rhetoric but claims that the new Fiji government has broken the law are a more serious matter, says prominent Suva lawyer Richard Naidu.

Reacting to FijiFirst general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s claims that there have been a number of incursions into the separation of powers since the government came in, Naidu said Sayed-Khaiyum had made no specific allegations that the People’s Alliance-led coalition had breached the “separation of powers”.

“In layman’s terms, ‘the separation of powers’ means only that the legislature (Parliament), the executive (Cabinet and civil servants) and the judiciary (judges and magistrates) should each ‘stay in their lanes’,” he said.

“They should not interfere in each other’s functions.

“Aiyaz has made no specific allegations that the new government has breached this concept. What law does he say has been broken?”

Naidu also questioned the procedures that were taken to set up the 2013 Constitution.

“Aiyaz’s FijiFirst party government applied the constitution as it suited them.

“It never set up the Accountability and Transparency Commission that the Constitution required (s.121); it never set up a Ministerial Code of Conduct as the Constitution required (s.149); it never set up a Freedom of Information Act as the Constitution required (s.150).

“This was, after all, his own government’s constitution.”

Rakesh Kumar is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.

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