29 Mar 2006

Fiji PM says military has no role in politics

7:47 pm on 29 March 2006

Fiji's prime minister says the bad relations between his government and the military are the result of the incorrect interpretation of the constitution by the force.

Laisenia Qarase has told a talkback show on Radio Fiji's Hindi language station that section 112 of the constitution is very specific on the military commander's role and responsibilities.

Mr Qarase says the military commander is responsible for the day to day running of the military, but outside of that he comes under the control of the minister for home affairs.

He says the military has no role in the politics of Fiji.

Mr Qarase says the government has been seeking all the legal advice it can get, including from overseas Queen's Counsel.

He says making the military responsible for the well-being of Fiji and its people was part of the 1990 Constitution but this was repealed when the 1997 Constitution came into force.

Mr Qarase says the correct interpretation of the constitution has been conveyed to the military and he hopes it is accepted, otherwise current bad relations will continue.

The prime minister says he hopes the military commander will stick to his role while the government continues to run the country.