22 Jan 2004

Fiji Military Accuses Govt of Double Standards

5:33 pm on 22 January 2004

Fiji's military has accused the government of practising double standards on the issue of the appointment of their commander, Commodore Frank Bainmarama.

The army spokesman, Warrant Officer Neumi Leweni, has told the Daily Post that no local commander was ever asked to vacate his post at the end of his five-year term.

He says Col Manueli remained commander until he retired, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau was deposed in the 1987 coup, and Sitiveni Rabuka and Ratu Epeli Ganilau resigned to enter politics.

Mr Leweni says it would be in the best interests of the public if those responsible would clarify why Commodore Bainimarama's appointment cannot be renewed.

Meanwhile, Mr Rabuka, during whose term as prime minister Commodore Bainimarama was appointed, says there is no contract and no fixed term for the commander.

Mr Rabuka says Commodore Bainimarama has been hailed at home and abroad for the role he played in bringing back democracy after the coup and he should continue in office.