19 Nov 2004

Fiji's Rabuka stresses indigenous focus in politics

3:36 pm on 19 November 2004

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says the country must ensure that the party elected to lead the country in the next general election is acceptable to the indigenous population.

Mr Rabuka has told Radio Legend that there is no other way to ensure that there is stability because the views of the indigenous Fijians on who should lead the country have not changed since the 2000 crisis.

Mr Rabuka says there is nothing to guarantee that indigenous Fijian objections and opposition to a largely non-indigenous elected government will not degenerate to the same level as in 1987 and 2000.

He says to prevent that happening, the best thing is for Fijians to unite and ensure that they return to power a party that is acceptable to the indigenous people.

Mr Rabuka led two military coups in 1987 to remove an Indian majority government from power but later changed his views and fought strongly to ensure that the 1997 Constitution was drafted and passed.

He says it will take time before the indigenous population changes its view on who should lead the country.