21 Feb 2007

Bainimarama will remain interim Fiji PM, says EPG

4:36 pm on 21 February 2007

Fiji's military commander, Commodore Bainimarama, has indicated that he will remain interim prime minister to ensure that the interim administration's mandate is properly implemented.

Radio Legend says this is revealed in the Forum Eminent Persons' report leaked to the media.

The report says that Commodore Bainimarama told its members that the military does not have confidence in any civilian authority to implement the mandate unsupervised.

Despite this, the Eminent Persons recommended that Commodore Bainimarama step down to make way for a civilian interim prime minister, a move immediately supported by the New Zealand and Australian governments.

Meanwhile, the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has told the radio station that if Commodore Bainimarama remains the military commander, any future elected civilian government will experience the same difficulties as his government did.

Mr Qarase says the problem is that Commodore Bainimarama sees his role of commander as something that goes well beyond the military as shown by his demands in the last five to six years.

He says the solution is for Commodore Bainimarama to play the role of army commander and leave the running of the country to the elected government of the day.