12 Oct 2005

Fiji military rejects minister's claim to control meetings

6:49 pm on 12 October 2005

Fiji's military says the home affairs minister, Josefa Vosanibola, cannot stop their commander from meeting anyone provided Commodore Frank Bainimarama agrees to an appointment.

The military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, has told Radio Legend that Commodore Bainimarama's recent meeting with the opposition leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, was blown out of proportion by the minister.

Capt Leweni has also rejected claims that the military is supporting the Fiji Labour Party.

He says the military is not supporting Labour or any other party.

Capt Leweni says all the military is doing is stating what is right and the way forward for the country.

On the meeting between the opposition leader and the military commander, Capt Leweni says Mr Chaudhry has every right to it just like any other citizen of Fiji and there is no reason for it to become an issue.

Mr Chaudhry has also stressed that the home affairs minister cannot stop him from meeting the military commander.

Mr Vosanibola had earlier complained that Mr Chaudhry should have sought permission from his office first.