29 Mar 2005

Leader of Fiji coup gunmen confirms considering move into politics

1:39 pm on 29 March 2005

The leader of George Speight's gunmen during Fiji's 2000 coup has confirmed he's considering moving into politics.

Ilisoni Ligairi says his preferred option would be standing for the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party at the general election next year.

Mr Ligairi says the majority of their manifesto goes along with what he wants.

But the former soldier has ruled out standing in the by-election in the constituency vacated by the former deputy speaker, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure.

"I think it's a good time to stand. I want to see what the government at the moment's doing, or I'm thinking of that, that time anyway, that election. The by-election, I'm not thinking about that at the moment."

Mr Ligairi says he hasn't changed what he was fighting for.

He was initially charged with treason but was released from prison in February 2004 after serving two years of a three-year sentence on the lesser charge of kidnapping.