11 Jun 2010

Exiled Fiji group critical of Bainimarama life-style

1:26 pm on 11 June 2010

There's fresh criticism of the Fiji interim leader living the high life while ordinary people suffer.

The Sydney-based president of the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement says Commodore Frank Bainimarama is shamelessly enjoying the good life while half the people in Fiji are living in poverty.

Usaia Waqatairewa says while public servants are being squeezed out, Commodore Bainimarama gets a salary and allowances of about 60,000 US dollars.

He says that's on top of the 130,000 US dollars awarded in back pay soon after he overthrew the Qarase government in 2006.

Mr Waqatairewa says New Zealand and Australia need to help bring fairness to ordinary people in Fiji.

"They should do something more to try and push this guy out because he's not going to go willingly. He's living there, he's enjoying the luxury life that he's never seen before, that he never believed that he could afford before. This guy was entrusted with the responsibility of security and he's turned it against the very people that's he's supposed to be looking after."

Usaia Waqatairewa says New Zealand taxpayers are lucky there is a system of checks, unlike Fiji where the military runs everything.