14 Jul 2005

Fiji military assures people there will be no coup

10:16 am on 14 July 2005

Fiji's military has given an assurance that there will be no coup.

The assurance follows growing concern over the publication of a draft report that the military had considered removing the Qarase government from office if it passed its fiercely opposed Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The military spokesman, Captain Neumi Leweni, has told the FIJI SUN people, including foreign news organisations like the BBC, were making the wrong assumption to warn of a possible coup.

Captain Leweni says the military would NOT use the power of the gun to stop the Bill from being passed.

He says they would use democratic processes, including pressure groups, to oppose it.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has also given a categorical public assurance that there will be no coup, adding that he has been in regular and close contact with Commodore Bainimarama and knows his views about the Bill.

"What he's saying I think if you actually read carefully what he's saying is that he doesn't want to see anything that would jeopardise Fiji going back to those events, and to then say well that means that he would launch some form of executive action I think is a long bow to draw."

Andrew Hughes says Mr Bainimarama is just warning that he will not stand for anybody destabilising Fiji.