24 Jul 2008

Fiji speculation over Chaudhry's future

3:32 pm on 24 July 2008

The Fiji military council is reported to be again pushing for the ousting of the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, from the interim government.

Fijilive quotes sources as saying the council members have restated their wish that the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, dismiss Mr Chaudhry.

No reason has been given for the latest move.

The two men held a meeting this morning.

Commodore Bainimarama says he hasn't asked Mr Chaudhry to step down.

In March, the council was reported to be demanding that Mr Chaudhry step aside while his tax affairs were assessed.

Allegations of impropriety were levelled at him by the Fiji Times which prompted Mr Chaudhry to sue the paper for five billion US dollars.

An investigation instigated by the interim regime cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Mr Chaudhry joined the interim regime in January last year when Commodore Bainimarama relinquished his role as president and took over as interim prime minister from Joni Senilagakali.