12 Dec 2006

Fiji military commander warns Qarase not to set up rival government

8:10 pm on 12 December 2006

Fiji's military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has warned the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, against any attempt to set up a de facto government in any other part of the country.

Commodore Bainimarama has told the media the military has received information that Mr Qarase and some his advisors are planning to set up a de facto government in the west.

"Let me currently state here and now that the military will not allow any [other] government anywhere else in Fiji."

He has urged people not to be influenced by Mr Qarase because they will only put themselves in harm's way.

Commodore Bainimarama says those influencing Mr Qarase are selfish people whose only interest is in furthering their own agenda and not that of the nation.

The military commander says government chief executives have been tasked to run their ministries until the interim administration is sworn in.

He says he feels the civil service has been manipulated so much by the past government that it serves the politicians more than the grassroots people.