11 Jul 2005

Fiji army commander calls for resignation of minister

10:22 am on 11 July 2005

Fiji's army commander has called for the resignation of Home Affairs Minister Josefa Vosanibola for his failure to push the military's cause.

A Fiji website reports that Commodore Bainimarma has told a local radio station the minister was not doing his job and failed to back the army's concerns over the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

He said the minister had not pushed the concerns of the disciplined forces to Cabinet regarding the Bill.

The website quotes the military commander as saying "No decent Home Affairs Minister or any minister for that matter would sit back and endorse a Bill which is radical in our view. If the minister cannot address our concerns than they should bring in someone who is better capable to lead,"

Commodore Bainimarama said the Bill addressed the issue of security for the nation and the military would not sit back and let the legalities of the Government dictate their stand on the Bill.

"Respect is earned and if the minister is not doing his job he will certainly not get the respect that is deserved, Bainimarama said."

The military will continue to speak out against the Bill because the events of May 2000 are still fresh in the minds of people and they are not ready to just forget about it yet, he said.