5 Feb 2007

Ousted Fiji PM accuses Chaudhry of wrecking country

1:48 pm on 5 February 2007

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister claims Mahendra Chaudhry is out to destroy the country in his new role as finance minister.

Laisenia Qarase made the claim amid calls by him for Pacific-wide sanctions to be imposed on the military-backed government.

Mr Qarase has urged member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum to join forces and impose universal sanctions such as travel restrictions.

He claims Mr Chaudhry's new budget, to be tabled next month replacing the one introduced by the deposed Qarase government, will ruin Fiji.

"He's out to destroy the country, I don't think he has any love for Fiji because of what happened to him in the past. He's a very clever man, he's going to do it through his budget and his policies on the private sector. He's very anti-private sector."

Mr Qarase's call for sanctions came last week as the Eminent Persons' Group sent to Fiji by the Forum ended talks with stakeholders over the current situation in the country.