1 Sep 2007

December 5 was not a coup - says Bainimarama

11:39 am on 1 September 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says the events of December 5 last year cannot be described as a coup.

Radio Legend says Commodore Bainimarama was commenting on the Fiji Human Rights Commission report which says that the December military takeover was not a coup.

Commodore Bainimarama says he had ensured that the 1997 Constitution remained intact and the President's mandate set out for the interim administration is fulfilled.

He says elected Australian governments had been removed by the governor general at least five times between 1907 and 1975 and no one had described them as coups.

Commodore Bainimarama says the same action was taken by the president in Fiji last year.

He also says the Fiji Human Rights Commission's report to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was written in response to a UN request after two women's activists sent in their own report.