20 Oct 2006

Fiji opposition doubts court can resolve stoush with army boss

4:35 pm on 20 October 2006

Fiji's opposition says the upcoming Supreme Court case over the military's role in the country will not resolve the stand-off between the government and the army.

The opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, made the comment following alleged threats by the military commander to overthrow the government unless it withdraws controversial legislation.

Fiji's president, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, has endorsed the government's request for the court to clarify the army's responsibilities under the constitution.

But Mick Beddoes believes the court will only reinforce what's already known.

"We already know what the military's role is. I expect the Supreme Court to come out and reinforce what the constitution says which means there is a line of command and the military commander is answerable to the line minister and the government of the day. Once that happens, then what? Who is going to enforce that judgement?"

Mr Beddoes says the only way to end the ongoing stoush is for Laisenia Qarase and Commodore Frank Bainimarama to sit down and talk.