10 Jan 2007

Former Fiji opposition leader no supporter of new administration

11:01 am on 10 January 2007

Fiji's United People's Party, which represents people who are neither indigenous Fijian nor ethnic Indian, is split over its reaction to the setting up of the military appointed caretaker administration.

The executives of the UPP's Suva branch have unanimously endorsed the decision of their MP, Bernadette Rounds Ganilau, to join the cabinet as the interim minister for labour, tourism and environment.

But the UPP leader, Mick Beddoes, says he does not support the "military junta" and its Suva constituency's actions are not a reflection of the party's position.

Mr Beddoes says Ms Ganilau's decision to join the administration came just 24 hours after the military sent soldiers to his Nadi home with a message allegedly warning him to stop making statements or he would be taken away.

Mr Beddoes says if the cabinet does nothing about threats and intimidation, then they will be endorsing these acts against humanity and breaches of their human rights and ultimately face the consequences of their inaction.