25 Apr 2006

Fiji minister tells military to back off

11:11 am on 25 April 2006

Fiji's Home Affairs Minister says the military should stop poking its nose into affairs that don't concern it.

Josefa Vosanibola made the comment after the military said it would appeal any Supreme Court ruling which challenged the army's view of its powers under the constitution.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, will seek clarification from the court on the military's powers if his government is re-elected next month.

Josefa Vosanibola says he advised Mr Qarase to take court action because the military continues to ignore legal advice and base its powers on the 1990 Constitution.

Mr Vosanibola brushed aside suggestions that the military will appeal any ruling from the court.

"We are here to govern, that's the role of the government in power. I don't think its for the military to poke their nose in something that is not beyond their control. They are only a government department or institution of government, that should take their cue from the government."

He declined to be drawn on whether the government would appeal a Supreme Court decision not in its favour.