1 Nov 2006

Fiji's military chief reiterates call for Qarase government to step down

10:09 am on 1 November 2006

Fiji's military commander says the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and his cronies have to step down now.

Commodore Bainimarama spoke to the Fiji Sun last night after Mr Qarase failed in his latest attempt to replace the commander with a subordinate officer

Commodore Bainimarama says Mr Qarase has been trying to weaken the army by attempting to remove him from day one.

He says if the prime minister succeeds, there will be no one to monitor the government and its corruption. .

He says the army is the only voice of hope for the nation

Commodore Bainimarama says corrupt and unconstitutional practices have been supported by the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and the United States which say the government is democratically elected.

He has asked whether these countries would allow people involved in the overthrow of a democratically elected government to sit in positions of power or keep their parliamentary seats open while they serve their prison terms.

Commodore Bainimarama says he regrets appointing Laisenia Qarase as the interim prime minister after the coup because he betrayed the military's trust by teaming up with the very people who caused the political instability of 2000.

Commodore Bainimarama says even though George Speight is in prison, the very people behind him are now in parliament making decisions for the nation and adopting his policies.

Commodore Bainimarama says the appointment of Qoriniasi Bale, who was once disbarred from practising law, as attorney general was even more frightening.

He says such people are providing legal advice to the government with the support of overseas countries.