13 Dec 2006

Former Fiji coup leader Rabuka blames President and Qarase for crisis

9:46 pm on 13 December 2006

The leader of two military coups in Fiji in 1987, Sitiveni Rabuka, has blamed the weak leadership of the deposed prime minister and President Iloilo for the current crisis.

Mr Rabuka has told Fiji TV that Laisenia Qarase and the president failed to listen to the concerns of the military although they could see the current crisis coming.

Mr Rabuka says the army looked to the president to take some decisive action at a time when it felt the nation was going in the wrong direction under the leadership of the elected prime minister.

He says the president failed to act and the prime minister failed to respond to the concerns of the military.

Mr Rabuka says Fiji is in the current crisis because of the failure of those in authority to exercise that authority.

Mr Rabuka says the president should have called up Laisenia Qarase and if the prime minister did not listen to him, he should have sacked the prime minister.

He says the president had the authority to do that.

Mr Rabuka says alternatively, Mr Qarase could have recommended dissolution of parliament and another election.

He says it would have been costly but it would still be democracy.

Mr Rabuka says he does not support the coup but he also could not support the kind of leadership Mr Qarase had.