20 Oct 2006

Fiji opposition says military threat embarrasses government

2:30 pm on 20 October 2006

Fiji's opposition says alleged threats by the military to overthrow the government are an embarrassment to the Prime Minister on the eve of the Pacific leaders summit.

The opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, made the comment following reports that the military commander will oust the government in several weeks unless it withdraw controversial legislation.

The ongoing stoush between the government and the military is heading to the Supreme Court, in a bid to determine what the army's role and responsibilities are in Fiji.

Fiji's president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, has now endorsed the government's request for the court to clarify the matter under the constitution.

Mr Beddoes says the timing of next week's Pacific Forum leaders meeting in Nadi couldn't be worse.

"It's an unfortunate bit of an embarrassment for the Prime Minister having this situation hanging over his head just as he's about to host the Forum leaders. This is the kind of fallout that the country has to put up with as a consequence of this ongoing exchange between the military and the government and we really need to stop it."

Mr Beddoes says the military's continual threats are taking their toll on the people.