28 Apr 2006

Fiji PM warns of instability if Labour elected

6:43 pm on 28 April 2006

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has warned of further instability if the opposition Labour Party comes into power after the general election.

Radio Legend reports that Mr Qarase has told a meeting of his SDL party supporters that Fiji has gone through two coups already in 1987 and 2000 while Labour was in power.

Mr Qarase says Fiji cannot afford to take the risk of having Labour back in government and face another coup.

He says people must have their property and their homes protected and they do not want to see any further political upheavals in the country.

But the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, says Mr Qarase is using fear tactics to gain votes and he will lodge an official complaint with the police.

Mr Chaudhry says the prime minister is clearly breaking the law by intimidating and threatening voters and inciting racial hatred.

Mr Chaudhry says this is very serious offence and it is absolutely unbecoming of the prime minister to be campaigning in this style by using fear and incitement and threatening violence.

A military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, says the army will do all in its capacity to protect the government and the people of Fiji, and will not allow another coup irrespective of who wins the election.