28 Apr 2009

A new book on the Fiji coup of 2006 says the claims of a rigged election are fraudulent

7:08 pm on 28 April 2009

A new book on the Fiji coup two years ago says Commodore Frank Bainimarama's claims that the 2006 election was rigged are fraudulent.

The book, The 2006 Military Takeover in Fiji: A Coup to End All Coups, launched today at the Australian National University, was edited by academics Jonathan Fraenkel, Brij Lal and Stuart Firth.

Dr Fraenkel says the Commodore's allegations of electoral fraud are largely self-serving bombast and showmanship.

He says the claims were based on flawed research made public by the Fiji Human Rights Commission.

Dr Fraenkel says the researchers, led by Waikato University academic, Dr David Nielsen, had encouraged people to make submissions and so did not get the complete story.

"Now all of these people, almost all of these people had an axe to grind against the regime [the Qarase government] - the people that had won in the elections or didn't think there was electoral fraud they didn't go along to this. So it was all really based on hearsay and people saying that they felt the elections hadn't been as they wanted them to."