17 Nov 2010

Fiji acting interim prime minister Ganilau resigns

5:15 pm on 17 November 2010

Fiji's acting interim prime minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, has resigned.

An information ministry statement says he tendered his resignation as minister of Defence, National Security and Immigration last night.

The statement says Ratu Epeli is being replaced by the interim Minister for Primary Industries, Joketani Cokanasiga.

He has told the Fijivillage website he resigned for personal reasons.

The permanent secretary for information, Sharon Smith-Johns, says the interim prime minister, Commmodore Frank Bainimamara, will explain the resignation upon his return from China at the weekend.

A political scientist at the University of Auckland, Dr Steven Ratuva says it would appear that all is not well with the interim government.

"Certainly from the outside it appears that there may be some differences in certain areas of how things should be run, in terms of decision-making and in terms of the overall trajectory of how things are moving."

An Auckland University political scientist, Dr Steven Ratuva.

Ratu Epeli joined the interim regime in 2007 only weeks after the 2006 military coup.

He had been an unsuccessful candidate in the 2006 election when he was the leader of the National Alliance Party.

Before entering politics, Ratu Epeli was the defence force commander for eight years.