27 Aug 2007

Fiji's SDL seeks police protection for Qarase

5:19 pm on 27 August 2007

Fiji's SDL party is seeking police protection for the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, when he returns to Suva on Friday.

The SDL's national director, Peceli Kinivuwai, has told Radio Legend that Mr Qarase having served as a prime minister, is constitutionally entitled to have his own security detail.

Mr Kinivuwai says this benefit is currently enjoyed by former prime ministers Sitiveni Rabuka and Mahendra Chaudhry and there is no reason why Mr Qarase should not.

He says they have written to the police commissioner, Commodore Esala Teleni on the issue and are awaiting a response.

Mr Qarase has confirmed that he and his wife will return to Suva on Friday and after he has attended to some family matters, he will start working on the SDL party's affairs including preparations for the next general elections.

Mr Qarase will also be consulting with his lawyers on his forthcoming court case challenging the overthrow of his government.

This will be Mr Qarase's first visit to Suva since he fled to his home island in the Lau Group immediately after the military takeover.