14 Mar 2007

Resentment against military growing, says deposed Fiji PM

8:40 pm on 14 March 2007

Fiji's deposed Prime Minister claims resentment is growing amongst Fijians who realise that December's military coup was politically-driven.

Laisenia Qarase says the military-backed government's clean-up campaign was designed to discredit the ousted government and push the political agenda of parties who lost the last general election.

Mr Qarase made the comment after the military claimed that security concerns prompted moves to extend the state of emergency in the country until early next month.

Public emergency regulations restrict a number of rights and freedoms granted in the 1997 constitution, including freedom of expression, assembly and association, labour relations and the right to privacy.

Mr Qarase says its clear that those who lost the last election, are now in control.

"The political agenda of the Fiji Labour Party and the New Alliance Party are now being implemented. So what they couldn't get through the ballot they are now enjoying the privilege through the force of arms."

He believes the majority of people in Fiji realise this is the situation.