29 Jul 2009

Fiji former vice president says interim regime in place for a while

3:08 pm on 29 July 2009

A former vice president of Fiji says the retirement of the President and his replacement by a former military commander indicate that the interim government will be there for a while.

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.

But he says the interim government's temporary appointment of Ratu Epeli to the role is a consolidation of power.

"I don't think that one can really see anything optimistic in this, I just think it's an indication that the commander and the military are here for a while."