14 May 2007

Former Fiji PM says coups avoidable if government listens

2:38 pm on 14 May 2007

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says the country's coup culture can be avoided if the government of the day listens to the grievances of all the people.

Radio Legend says Mr Rabuka's comment comes on the 20th anniversary today of the first of his two military coups in 1987 when he stormed parliament with armed soldiers and overthrew the government led by Dr Timoci Bavadra.

Mr Rabuka says any political party elected into power should listen to all the people and not only those who voted the government in.

He says the government has to be responsible and respond to all the people of Fiji.

Meanwhile, a member of the overthrown Bavadra government and suspended member of the Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Filimoni Ralogaivau, says the first coup might have been understandable.

This was because indigenous Fijians were not used to a cabinet with Indians in the majority.

But, he says the 2000 coup was the result of the jealousy of prominent people who lost their seats in the 1999 general election.

Ratu Filimoni says Fiji would have been a well developed country if it hadn't been for all the coups.