12 May 2004

Former Fiji coup leader wants emergency meeting over allegations of coup plotting by Army commander

9:17 am on 12 May 2004

There's been a high profile call in Fiji for an immediate meeting of the National Security Council and an emergency cabinet meeting over allegations that the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, planned to overthrow the Qarase government.

The call has come from Sitiveni Rabuka, the former middle ranking army officer who deposed his army commander, seized control of the army and carried out two military coups in 1987 to establish a military government.

Mr Rabuka has told Radio Legend that any allegations of a planned removal of the government are serious and all the claims need to be substantiated because they threaten the stability of the country.

He says the allegations threaten the integrity of the nation and its government.

Mr Rabuka says there's need for an immediate investigation into whether the allegation are genuine.

The prime minister, Mr Qarase, said earlier that he is treating the allegations as serious.