12 Dec 2006

Deposed Fiji PM wants to restore democracy in Suva

6:58 pm on 12 December 2006

Fiji's deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says he wants to return to the capital from his home island to help restore democracy to the country.

Mr Qarase has told Radio Legend that restoring democracy is the number one priority because that is what the majority of the people want.

He says returning to power is secondary.

Mr Qarase wants to have talks with the military and the Great Council of Chiefs because, he says, the removal of democracy is not supported by the overwhelming majority of the people.

Mr Qarase says he plans to return in the next few days but is having difficulty finding transport.

He says at this time of the year when holidays are approaching all aircraft are fully booked out and there are very few shipping services to his home island of Vanuabalavu in the Lau group over 300km to the east of Suva.

Mr Qarase's announcement of his plans to return come despite the military's threat to arrest him and possibly put him on Nukulau Island with the 2000 coup front man, George Speight.