16 Jan 2007

Former Fiji army head says interim cabinet not tainted by military

3:49 pm on 16 January 2007

Fiji's former army head and leader of the National Alliance Party says the new interim cabinet is not responsible for military's behaviour.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau made the comment before being sworn into the key portfolio of Fijian Affairs Minister today.

He was responding to suggestions by the ousted Opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, that the cabinet is collectively responsible for the military's actions.

Ratu Epeli, who was the military commander just prior to Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says he doesn't condone some of the army's actions.

"It's not something that you're tainted with, the other members of the interim cabinet, simply by joining that they're condoning these kinds of actions. No, those are independent actions which also warrant their own investigations."

Ratu Epeli says the military has its own disciplinary structure to deal with such matters.

His swearing in completes the 16-member interim cabinet, which will hold its first meeting today.