19 Jan 2005

Fiji's Rabuka wants Speight to succeed in politics

3:27 pm on 19 January 2005

A former Fiji Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says he'd like to see coup front man George Speight succeed in politics on his release.

Mr Rabuka, who fronted the 1987 coup, says Speight should serve his life sentence to increase his political chances in the future.

He says that while he doesn't support Speight, he believes he has the right to stand for election under the constitution that he helped draw up when he was Prime Minister.

"I believe he has every right. Our constitution upholds his right, no matter what his past might have been. He has every right to stand in an election and get elected into the house."

He says Speight, who has expressed a desire to serve his full jail term, has every chance of succeeding in his Tailevu north constitutency.

Mr Rabuka also says the early release of nationalist Viliame Savu five months into a one-year jail term is fair.

Savu was one of five people jailed for taking an illegal oath to join Speight's failed administration during the coup.