28 Jun 2018

Bainimarama attacks opposition in latest speech

9:44 am on 28 June 2018

Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama has again hit out at opposition parties calling them liars and accusing them of sowing division in the ethnically diverse country.

The Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama at Government House in Auckland

The Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama at Government House in Auckland. Photo: RNZ/ALEX PERROTTET

Mr Bainimarama devoted much of his speech at the opening of a provincial council meeting in Fiji's west to sharp criticism of his opponents.

He accused them of infighting, peddling lies and promoting hatred between different religious and ethnic communities.

In his most attacking speech yet during election year, Mr Bainimarama spoke out against talk of a Muslim or Chinese takeover of Fiji.

He said it made him angry to hear of Muslims being pitted against Hindus and provincialism in the iTaukei community.

FijiFirst candidates Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama

Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on the campaign trail in 2014. Photo: RNZ

He defended the Muslim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who he said had made great contributions to Fiji's development and is a trusted partner and friend.

Mr Bainimarama said Fijian Muslims, like every other citizen, are an integral part of the nation.

He said there was no chance whatsoever of a Chinese takeover in Fiji and Fiji owed China only 10.6 per cent of total national debt.

The prime minister said his government had delivered genuine change and that would be seen in the budget due to be delivered this evening.

With the election date still to be announced Mr Bainimarama urged people to use their vote wisely.

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