29 Mar 2005

I haven't changed what I'm fighting for, says leader of Fiji coup gunmen

4:45 pm on 29 March 2005

The Fiji man who led the armed hostage-takers during the 2000 coup says he's considering going into politics and he hasn't changed what he's fighting for.

Ilisoni Ligairi has ruled out standing in a by-election in the constituency vacated by the former deputy speaker, Ratu Rakuita Vakalabure.

Mr Ligairi was initially charged with treason but was released from prison in February 2004 after serving two years of a three-year sentence on the lesser charge of kidnapping.

The former soldier now says he's keeping an eye on national politics as he considers joining it.

"I haven't changed what I was fighting for. But I think I'm still waiting for the, for what's going on in the country, see how it's improving, and, at the moment, I'm not really thinking about the politics straightaway."

Mr Ligairi says the majority of the manifesto of the Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party goes along with what he wants.

He claims to have strong political support at grassroots level in his area of Vanua Levu, as well as in other outer islands.