11 Jan 2005

Fiji vice-president expresses concern about government/military standoff

11:18 am on 11 January 2005

Fiji's new vice-president says the country cannot afford further instability.

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi says since the coup of 1987 and 2000, the military has played an influential role in the running of the country.

But referring to the more than year-long standoff between the military and the government, Ratu Joni says the military should find a less public forum to air its concerns on national security rather than the media.

Ratu Joni says for a developing democracy, this could be a matter of public concern.

The new vice president's view comes only days after the military said it only speaks out against the government when the rule of law and justice risk being compromised.

That statement was in response to the Methodist Church's call on the military to be humble and submit itself to the government.