18 Dec 2006

Former Qarase government minister backs the military overthrow

7:11 pm on 18 December 2006

A former minister of the deposed SDL-led government in Fiji says the military's clean-up campaign should have begun with the Rabuka government in 1997.

Rajesh Singh, who was sacked as the minister of state for youth and sport for repeatedly calling for financial accountability from sporting bodies, says the military should be left to get on with the job.

Mr Singh claims he was poisoned twice and threatened with imprisonment while attempting to clean up his own ministry, before he was sacked in October.

He says that the military commander, commodore Frank Bainimarama, should be helped to rid the government of corruption.

"Our government we preached accountability, transparency and good governance. We were just saying that but we were not practising it. I will only walk when it is legally constitutional. I'm not going to take part in anything that is unconstitutional."

Mr Singh says he would only serve in the proposed interim administration if it was endorsed by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo.