30 Jan 2004

Mixed reactions to reappointment of Fiji military chief

4:58 pm on 30 January 2004

There has been mixed reaction in Fiji to the reapppointment of Commodore Frank Bainimarama as the military commander.

The former Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka and the opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, have welcomed the news.

However MP Samisoni Tikonisau, the brother of coup leader George Speight, says the way Commodore Bainimarama's contract was extended is unethical.

He says the military has exerted too much pressure on the government to reappoint him.

"It seems to be that they are exerting a whole lot of unnecessary pressure upon the government, bordering on insubordination as it were. And this has been going on for some months now, and I'm sure in any democracy so-called, it is totally unacceptable behaviour."

Mr Tikonisau says that there are still unresolved issues with regard to the deaths within the military during the mutiny in 2000.

He says the mutiny was a reflection on leadership and there were unhealthy divisions within the military.