31 May 2005

Fiji military and police chiefs reject resignation call

6:17 pm on 31 May 2005

Fiji military commander and police commissioner have rejected a call for their resignation from the junior partner in the Qarase coalition government.

The pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua's call, which had also included the director of public prosecutions, was based on their opposition to the government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

A spokesman for Commodore Frank Bainimarama, Captain Neumi Leweni, says the commander will not resign.

He says the removal of the three top officers who had worked tirelessly since the 2000 crisis to bring back law and order will be a disaster for Fiji.

Captain Leweni says the military will not stand by and let power hungry individuals manipulate the law to suit their own agendas.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says when the police are doing their job properly, some people don't like what's happening but he has no intention of resigning.

Mr Hughes says he has discussed the impact of the Reconciliation and Unity Bill on the police and the military with Commodore Bainimarama and they will raise their concerns in a meeting with the minister for home affairs, Josefa Vosanibola.