12 Jun 2007

Fiji interim PM rejects criticism from former Vice-President

9:27 am on 12 June 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says efforts by the former vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi to sensationalise matters and bring race into the equation will not derail the efforts of the interim government.

Ratu Joni has told a seminar in Australia that the interim government has limited support among indigenous Fijians who see the takeover as an Indo-Fijian coup while others think it was a Muslim coup because of its association with some prominent Muslims.

But Commodore Frank Bainimarama says Ratu Joni's remarks will not derail the efforts of the interim government to set strategic priorities for good governance and prepare a roadmap for true and sustainable parliamentary democracy in Fiji.

Commodore Bainimarama says people should not forget the fundamental reasons which led to the political transition on December 5th.

He says Fiji was badly governed by the Qarase led government with nepotism, fraud and corruption being well accepted norms of that government.

Commodore Bainimarama says it was nationalist in orientation and was leading Fiji on a disastrous path through the introduction of controversial legislation and policies.

The interim prime minister says all those malpractices were denying the grassroots people of Fiji the opportunity to secure decent jobs and incomes.

Commodore Bainimarama says Fiji was suffering from deep-rooted structural problems, a governance environment severely warped by ethnic politics and with an increasing incidence of corruption and lawlessness.