13 Sep 2004

Rabuka says he has Fiji PM's support in Washington post bid

1:49 pm on 13 September 2004

Fij's former Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says the Prime Minister is backing his bid to become ambassador to the United States.

Mr Rabuka says Laisenia Qarase has urged him not to withdraw his nomination, because it's Fiji's sovereign right to choose its candidate for the diplomatic post in Washington.

He says he warned Mr Qarase that it might embarrass the government if he is rejected for the position because of opposition from former Fiji residents now living in the US.

But he says Mr Qarase has endorsed his nomination.

"After my discussion with the Prime Minister on Thursday last week we both understood that it is a matter of sovereignty for Fiji to nominate its person for that. And also a matter of sovereignty for the United States to accept as part of their own national sovereignty."

Mr Rabuka says he hopes to win the post, but will pursue his political ambitions in Fiji if not.

He says he resigned as president of the SVT party because it has no future and he wants to help unite Fijian political parties so they retain control of the country.