1 Dec 2006

Some Fiji Cabinet Ministers have gone into hiding after the military deadline expires

4:59 pm on 1 December 2006

Some Fiji cabinet ministers have gone into hiding as the military's deadline to the government to give in to all it demands expired at midday today.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase confirmed this saying the ministers had moved to "certain locations" to enable them to carry on working.

He did not disclose who those ministers were.

Mr Qarase also said he will not resign because of the military's threat to remove his government.

He told the Fijilive news website that he cannot resign because he has a job to do.

This afternoon Mr Qarase cut short a visit to Fiji's west and was returning to Suva.

He has also denied rumours that the New Zealand government had offered to evacuate him, saying there was no request for him to leave the country.

On the military's demand that ministers in his government linked to the coup should stand down, Mr Qarase says he had told the commander to provide the names to the police and let investigations proceed.

Laisenia Qarase also said he stands by his remarks on Auckland radio station, RADIO TARANA, last night that Commodore Bainimarama is deranged and mentally unstable.