17 Feb 2006

Fiji military vows to kill Reconciliation Bill

2:27 pm on 17 February 2006

Fiji's military commander has vowed to protect the nation by killing the government's controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The Fiji Sun reports that Commodore Bainimarama's strongly worded statement came after the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, said that only an early general election could rule out the passing of the Bill which was recently deferred.

Mr Qarase said his government was committed to passing the Bill and all that was left is the final draft to be debated enacted and gazetted.

Commodore Bainimarama's statement warns that the military is duty bound to assure the nation that no political party could hold the country to ransom and force its hidden agenda on its citizens.

Commodore Bainimarama says that is the military's stand and it would not back away from it.

He is expected to raise the issue with the prime minister in their fortnightly meetings which have been taking place since last month's peace talks between the military and the government, mediated by the acting president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi.