11 Nov 2015

Fiji's Sodelpa questions Qiliho appointment

10:29 am on 11 November 2015

The Secretary General of Fiji's opposition Sodelpa party Pio Tabaiwalu has questioned the way a senior military officer has been appointed to head the police force.

Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho takes over the role of acting Police Commissioner today after the sudden departure of Ben Groenewald yesterday.

The government announced Colonel Qiliho would be in the job for three months and a draft advertisement for the job has been sent to members of the Constitutional Offices Commission which handles key appointments.

The Commission is made up of government and opposition members.

The government says the acting appointment comes on the advice of the Prime Minister who is chair of the Commission.

Mr Tabaiwalu says the process has been high-handed and it pre-empts the constitutional process.

He says it sends the wrong signal to people and is a repeat of the appointment of Viliame Naupoto as acting commander of Fiji's military forces in August.

Mr Tabaiwalu says he is shocked and saddened by the resignation of Mr Groenewald who he says has done a magnificent job.

Viliame Naupoto was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral on Tuesday.