22 Apr 2003

Fiji military continues war of words with local politicians

10:38 am on 22 April 2003

Fiji's military is reported to be wary of accepting laws made by a government some of whose members are politicians alleged to have been involved in the coup.

The military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, is quoted as saying that the constitution allowed those who had taken part in the coup to be part of the government after the 2001 general election.

He says this had allowed them to implement laws for the country and the military.

Commodore Bainimarama has told Radio Fiji that the military returned the leadership of the country to politicians in good faith, expecting justice and honest leadership, but some of their moves were now questionable.

Commodore Bainimarama's comments come after weeks of tension between the government and the military commander.

During this period Commodore Bainimarama is reported to have been told that his contract will not be renewed on expiry in February next year and the military has been ordered to go easy on the prosecution of soldiers involved in the coup and the mutinies.

Meanwile, several members of the current government including ministers, backbenchers, senators and the deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives are facing serious coup-related charges.