4 Mar 2014

Tikoitoga Fiji military appointment described as no surprise

10:02 pm on 4 March 2014

The Republic of Fiji Military Force's land force commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, is to become the country's new military commander in a formal televised ceremony tomorrow.

The current commander, Frank Bainimarama, is stepping down so he can launch his political party and contest the elections he has promised for September.

It had been speculated that Commodore Bainimarama's brother in law Francis Kean would get the job or the newly promoted Major General Iowane Naivalurua, a former land force commander who became the police commissioner and most recently a diplomat.

But Auckland University lecturer in Pacific studies, Dr Steven Ratuva, says he is not surprised at the appointment of Mosese Tikoitoga.

"Of all the officers at the moment he is probably the most logical choice for the position. He is probably the most senior. He has been land force commander for a number of years now so he is somebody he is reliable and stable and someone Bainimarama can trust in terms of the post election politics."

Dr Steven Ratuva says people of Fiji will be hoping that the new commander will show tenacity in remaining independent of political influence, especially in times of crisis.