22 Oct 2007

Fiji military officers in public service to return to barracks after 2009 election

10:50 am on 22 October 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says military officers posted to the public service, including those on diplomatic postings, will return to barracks after the 2009 general election if they are not wanted by the incoming government..

Commodore Bainimarama has told the Sunday Times the officers are aware of this and they will always have a job to come back to.

The newspaper says the interim prime minister was responding to criticism that the public service is being militarised.

Commodore Bainimarama says the military has been suffering as a result of the postings of its best officers but the nation's welfare was the first priority.

He says everyone has had some experience with the civil service where staff come to work too late, head for a coffee break and then leave too early.

He says when they see something wrong with a department, they throw in a military officer to get it up and running to provide services to the people.