3 Sep 2007

Fiji's ousted PM says corruption allegations an excuse to overthrow government

10:53 am on 3 September 2007

Fiji's deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says allegations of corruption were only an excuse used by the military to overthrow his government last year.

He says there are other reasons for his removal which only the military knows.

Mr Qarase made the comment on Fiji TV after returning to Suva from his home island at the weekend after nine months.

He says it will be impossible for the interim government to get rid of corruption entirely because no human being can do it.

Mr Qarase says a lot of the actions and things happening within the interim government are also very corrupt after just nine months.

The comments come just as the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption is about to start investigations into deposed SDL party ministers for allegedly corrupt land dealings.

Mr Qarase adds that there is only one legal way to overthrow a government and that is through an election.

He says his health is good and he would be willing to stand for another term if the SDL party selects him.