2 Dec 2006

Commonwealth condemns military action against democratically-elected Governments

6:37 am on 2 December 2006

The Commonwealth is closely monitoring developments in Fiji, and is urging restraint by the military, and the upholding of the democratically-elected Government.

Fiji's military chief Frank Bainimarama claims the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has failed to meet his demands and has left him to run the country.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon has condemned military action against democratically-elected Governments.

He says any such action in Fiji would be a serious violation of the Commonwealth's political values and would threaten democracy everywhere.

Mr McKinnon says the Commander's continued threats are widely seen as a regrettable disregard for the concerns of Fijians, and for the international community, which desires stability in the Pacific nation.

He believes Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs is well placed to defend Fiji's constitution and resolve the current situation.