4 Jan 2006

Fiji political party says military commander is no better than a gun-toting rebel

4:03 pm on 4 January 2006

Fiji's National Federation Party says recent utterances by the military commander are similar to those of any gun-toting rebel holding people hostage.

The NFP's general secretary, Pramod Rae says that for Commodore Bainimarama to publicly defy the government and repeatedly make threatening statements is unthinkable in a country governed by parliamentary democracy.

The Fiji Times reports that the NFP's reaction follows statements by the military commander that he no longer recognised the authority of the home affairs minister and called on the government and the minister to resign.

Mr Rae says the government's failure to get Commodore Bainimarama to perform his duties in accordance with the law and the constitution, and not dictate terms, is a sign of a weak administration.

He says Commodore Bainimarama's latest outburst is an act of defiance against an elected government, constitutional rule and parliamentary democracy.

Mr Rae says the standoff has eroded confidence, created fear, encouraged rumour mongering, deterred fruitful investment and affected the country's fragile economy.

Mr Rae says the sabre rattling must stop and the choice lies with Commodore Bainimarama and the prime minister.