7 Aug 2007

Fiji coup leader says previous elected governments were manipulated

1:46 pm on 7 August 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says the country's coup culture is far from over because the international community has been naïve in pressuring the country to return to parliamentary rule without allowing the people to address the root causes of conflict.

The Fiji Times quotes Commodore Frank Bainimarama as saying that Fiji's return to to parliamentary democracy is critically important for a range of reasons rather than what he says is just rushing into general election to satisfy the international community.

He says the international community's perception is that Fiji's unique problems would be overcome once elections are held, as was also believed in 1987 and 2000.

Commodore Bainimarama, who carried out a coup in December, says the international community continues to say that matters being addressed by the interim administration are better left to elected governments.

But Commodore Bainimarama says elected governments in the past have been based largely on the manipulation of grassroots people and the promotion of racially divisive policies and corrupt practices.