22 Jan 2004

Former Fiji PM wants government to allay coup fears

11:19 am on 22 January 2004

A former Fiji prime minister and military commander, Sitiveni Rabuka, has called on the government to allay public fears of another coup.

The Fiji Sun newspaper quotes Mr Rabuka as saying that this can be done by the government confirming that the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, would remain at his post.

Mr Rabuka, who seized control of the army by deposing is commander during his 1987 coup, says the normal procedure is that an officer of this category can only be removed of he is not fit for duty or not performing as expected.

He says he has not heard that Commodore Bainimarama has been summoned to appear before the minister of home affairs or the commander-in-chief for non-performance.

Mr Rabuka says Commodore Bainimarama has been hailed at home and abroad for the key role he played in bringing back democracy after the May 2000 coup.

He says Commodore Bainimarama also has the support of the people and other countries for his move to see that justice is paramount when dealing with those involved wt. the coup and mutiny.

Mr Rabuka says as someone who was allegedly implicated in the 2000 upheaval, he would like his name cleared.