12 Apr 2009

Bainimarama intends to 'transform Fiji'

7:44 am on 12 April 2009

Commodore Frank Bainimarama has told Fiji he will transform the nation.

In a national address after being reinstated as Prime Minister, Commodore Bainimarama said he wanted to remove politics from government decision making.

Fiji will not have elections for at least five years under a new legal order proclaimed on Friday by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, when he abrogated the country's constitution.

Mr Iloilo swore in Commodore Bainimarama as prime minister on Saturday morning under the new legal order.

Nine ministers were re-appointed to the same positions in the new government later in the day.

In the address, Commodore Bainimarama said:

"My government will be focused on carrying out a number of reforms with the view to modernize our governmental systems.

"We shall continue with our agenda to liberalize our economy, and eradicating systemic corruption. I shall continue to allocate more resources to building better roads and water systems.

"I want to take politics out of sugar and put it on a path of commercial viability and for it to provide viable livelihoods.

"I want to ensure that the right framework is provided so that commoner indigenous Fijian benefit from their lands and at the same time that framework provides for land development and national economic growth.

"Essentially I want to rid politics from decision making that has an impact on our economy, our future. We cannot be beholden to petty politics, communal politics, provincial politics and religious politics."

No disorder

Commodore Bainimarama also said he was pleased there had been no public disorder in recent days and he thanked the people for being what he called "responsible".

Fiji now has stringent censorship regulations and Prime Minister said he was sure the media would collaborate.

Commodore Bainimarama seized power in a coup in December 2006 and was named as "interim" prime minister a month later. It was the fourth coup in Fiji since 1987.