23 Feb 2006

Fiji's military worried by the merger of the country's two governing parties

7:26 pm on 23 February 2006

Fiji's military says the continued promotion of race-based politics in Fiji could ultimately threaten the country's stability.

It issued the warning in the wake of the merger between the ruling SDL party and its pro-coup junior coalition partner, the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua.

A senior military spokesman, Lt Col Orisi Rabukawaqa, says the merger indicates a continued push for race-based nationalism, which will only breed hatred and instability.

"The fear for the RFMF is not so much the unifying itself, but the continued promotion of the ideology of ethno-nationalism is grounds for a threat to the long-term stability of this country."

Lt Col Rabukawaqa says the CAMV dissolved and placed strict conditions on the SDL before joining it.

He says the CAMV has demanded that that their six members of parliament should stand unopposed in the constituencies for which they had been elected in the 2001 elections.

However an SDL spokesman, Jale Baba, denies this, saying his party had no conditions placed on it.