10 May 2004

Fiji government MP says inquiry into army allegations would show rift in armed forces

3:20 pm on 10 May 2004

A Fiji government MP says an inquiry into allegations the army commander was plotting a coup will clear up unresolved issues within the armed forces.

Samisoni Tikonisau says there appears to be problems in the camp and a rift is evident.

Three senior officers, who were suspended in January, have accused Commodore Frank Bainimarama of planning to overthrow the government in December in case he wasn't re-appointed.

Mr Tikonisau says a parliamentary inquiry would get to the bottom of the allegations.

"It's pretty clear that there's serious divisions within the institution. A lot of them are probably there for the sake of a job, they prefer to remain silent under the circumstances. Though since this information has come to light, I think it needs to addressed properly through a proper inquiry."

Mr Tikonisau says the inquiry could be a multi-party affair so that there wouldn't be accusations of government bias against Mr Bainimarama.

Relations between the commander and the government were at a low point at the end of last year, prior to his re-appointment.