8 Mar 2011

Internal strife the main fear for Fiji regime - academic

2:26 pm on 8 March 2011

A specialist in contemporary Fiji politics, Dr Jon Fraenkel, believes the main threat to Commodore Frank Bainimarama's regime is internal strife.

The Australia based academic says recent reports of beatings by the military appear to be a revival of immediate post coup tactics of intimidating and harrassing opponents.

He says a popular uprising in Fiji, of a kind seen in the Middle-East, would appear to be less of a problem for the regime than disquiet among its ranks, but it's difficult to gauge public sentiment.

"I think people are very fearful and the popular opposition to the coup seems to have largely played itself out. At the moment what's threatening the regime is internal friction, an internal sense of crisis, loss of direction and disarray."

Dr Fraenkel says Commodore Bainimarama has been effective at retaining control evidenced by the recent removal of key military officers.