19 May 2004

Fiji army and navy pledge support for military commander

11:13 am on 19 May 2004

The Fiji military are giving their full support to their commander despite the cabinet decision to appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations that he wanted to overthrow the government.

The military spokesman, Captain Ned Taito, has told the Daily Post that Commodore Bainimarama has the full backing of both the army and the navy.

Captain Taito says all the officers are standing fully behind their commander.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the commission of inquiry is a ploy by the government to get rid of Commodore Bainimarama and block investigations into the May 2000 coup.

Mr Chaudhry says the government should prioritise the coup investigations and not waste money on allegations by "disgruntled, suspended military officers."

He says the government should stop protecting some of their own who had a hand in the upheavals of 2000