21 Jul 2005

Fiji minister exploring new options to discipline military commander - report

11:02 am on 21 July 2005

Fiji's minister for home affairs is reported to be exploring new options by which he can discipline the military commander for his public criticism of the government and its Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Radio Legend reports that these include seeking legal advice from the attorney general's office.

Josefa Vosanibola is seeking legal clarification on the powers vested in him as home affairs minister to initiate disciplinary action against Commodore Bainimarama.

Mr Vosanibola had revealed earlier that he was looking at new options rather than seeking a termination of Commodore Bainimarama's contract, which still has four years to run

Commodore Bainimarama had also disclosed that the minister and his chief executive officer, Lesi Korovavala, had tried to sack him by writing a letter terminating his contract and had handed it to President Iloilo in his capacity as commander in chief.

It was also reported that the Fiji government had approached th Australian government to provide an officer from its military to be the new commander.

Although both the home affairs minister and the Australian foreign affairs minister's office denied this, Mr Vosanibola said that local candidates were available to take over.