27 Oct 2006

Fiji's leader military actions in demanding his resignation are unlawful and unconstitutional

2:24 pm on 27 October 2006

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, is defying the military's calls to resign, saying only the voters can change the government.

Mr Qarase as told the Fiji Times his SDL party was elected by the people to form the government and the military should respect that.

He says the only situation where an elected government has to resign is when a motion of no confidence is successful

Mr Qarase says the military's actions are illegal and unconstitutional.

The military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, has said that unless the government withdraws the Reconciliation and Unity Bill and the Qoliqoli Bill, he will walk into the prime minister's office and demand Mr Qarase's resignation.

Senior military officers headed by the acting commander, navy Captain Esala Teleni, and the commander of Land Forces, Colonel Pita Driti, have fully backed Commodore Bainimarama.

But police have said they are investigating the Commodore's statements.