24 Apr 2003

Fiji peace keepers say they'll have enough backing to govern

3:51 pm on 24 April 2003

The Fiji Peacekeepers Association believed it has enough support throughout the country to win the next general election.

It's lawyer Tevita Fa says the Association will go ahead and form a political party to contest the election unless the Qarase administation pays out the money owed it from UN peace keeping missions.

The Association says its members are owed 127 million US dollars from UN peace keeping over the past 24 years.

Successive Fiji Governments have refused to pay to the soldiers all the money given it by the UN.

Tevita Fa says more than 12 thousand former soldiers have served as peace keepers and with their families they form a huge political block in Fiji.

He believes this block would be big enough to form the next government and ensure the payments go ahead.

"we want Laisenia Qarase to come to the party and sort this problem once and for all...now if he doesn't open up or come to us between now and the next election, well, we're going to the polls and as I said earlier on I have no doubt of our ability to get elected and form the next government"