4 Oct 2005

Fiji's SDL party rejects army's fears of instability after next year's election

10:16 am on 4 October 2005

Fiji's ruling SDL party has rejected a military assessment that there would be a real threat of instability if the SDL/Conservative Alliance coalition loses the next general election.

The military spokesman, Lt Col Orisi Rabukawaqa, had given this briefing to the Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, last Friday.

But the SDL's director, Jale Baba, has told the Daily Post newspaper there is no justification for the military's stance.

Mr Baba says the SDL has great faith in the police and the military to maintain law and order during and after the general elections.

He says Fiji is well out of the 2000 upheavals and it is up to the military to develop strategies to ensure that the country does not become another Bali.

But Mr Baba refused to comment when asked whether he believed the people would accept whoever wins the 2006 elections.