3 Nov 2004

Rabuka says there will be more uprisings unless indigenous Fijians can form a grand coalition

4:29 pm on 3 November 2004

Former Fiji Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says there will be an uprising or another coup unless indigenous Fijian political parties unite.

Mr Rabuka says past experiences mean there is no longer any chance of cooperation between Indo-Fijians and their indigenous countrymen.

And, he says, without a grand coalition, the Indo-Fijian-dominated Fiji Labour Party, which is gaining in strength, will win at the next elections, in 2006.

Mr Rabuka says this will lead to widespread unrest.

"It may not be a coup but it will be a general uprising from the Fijian quarter because the wounds and the effects of 2000 are still very fresh in their minds and it'll be a law and order headache although the security forces and the law enforcement agencies have demonstrated that they can, in a situation, bring back law and order."

Mr Rabuka says racial polarisation in Fiji will take generations to overcome.

And he says the ambition of leaders of indigenous Fijian political parties to each become prime minister is the key obstacle to the formation of a grand coalition.