29 Jul 2009

Fiji's ex vice-President says regime tightening grip on power

3:21 pm on 29 July 2009

A former vice president of Fiji says the retirement of the president is enabling the interim government to consolidate its power.

President Ratu Josefa Iloilo retires at the end of next month and the Vice President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, a former military commander, will be acting in the position until a new president is appointed.

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, who was ousted from his vice presidential role by the military when it took power in 2006, says Ratu Josefa's retirement won't make much of a difference on a day-to-day basis.

"In the sense that the vice president will probably act in accordance with the wishes of the regime I don't see him departing from the agenda that they have because he's very much a part of them, I think that in a way it's just a consolidation"

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi says the real question is whether or not Ratu Epeli Nalilatikau has presidential aspirations.