30 Jul 2009

Fiji ex vice president says economy trigger for resistance

1:44 pm on 30 July 2009

A former vice president of Fiji says an economic downturn is the only thing likely to spur resistance to the interim government.

The comment follows the announcement of President Ratu Josefa Iloilo's retirement and his temporary replacement by the vice president and former military commander, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, who was ousted from his vice presidential role by the military when it took power in 2006, says the retirement is enabling the interim regime to tighten its grip on the country.

He says people in Fiji will probably stand up to that when the economy starts to perform badly.

"When it comes to a point where people find it hard to put food on the table, don't have jobs, etc, you know, the economic downturn as far as we're concerned hasn't really worked its way through and I think when that happens it'll probably be interesting to see whether people do feel motivated to do something about it."