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Court Rules Government of Fiji Illegal

March 01, 2001|Associated Press

SUVA, Fiji — Fiji's appeals court ruled today that the military-backed government installed after a coup is illegal and must return power to the country's democratically elected Parliament.

The court said President Josefa Iloilo must reconvene the legislature and step down by March 15. It said Parliament had never been formally dissolved and the country's constitution remains in effect.

If accepted by Fiji's leaders, the ruling clears the way for the return of democratic rule to the nation.

Senior military figures said earlier that they would respect the outcome of the hearing.

The interim government took power after a coup in May by hard-line nationalists who ousted the country's first ethnic Indian prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry.

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