5 Nov 2014

Fiji stability still resting on military: academic

9:34 am on 5 November 2014

An Australian academic says the stability of Fiji's new democracy will still depend on military support, like every brand of leadership since 1987.

Dr Scott MacWilliam, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, who has tracked the role of the military in Fiji, says every government since the first coup has relied on military support and has fallen without it.

He says Mr Bainimarama appeared more and more relaxed throughout this year and will hopefully see that he can also accommodate some of his adversaries' demands.

"I think that the continued close tie between the government and the military is the key to that. They'll understand that some of the civil rights demands and so forth can easily be incorporated, can easily be dealt with without it actually threatening the government's position."

Dr Scott MacWilliam says the international community "totally underestimated" the political clout of the military and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama in the lead-up to this year's election.