15 Mar 2007

Deposed Fiji PM promises to contest 2010 election

10:20 am on 15 March 2007

Fiji's deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says he is planning a political comeback with his SDL party which was overthrown by the military last year.

Mr Qarase has told the Fijilive news website that he has a surprising amount of support and is promising his backers he will return for the 2010 elections.

The military has prohibited Mr Qarase from returning to the capital from his home island of Vanuabalavu where he fled just after the December takeover.

Mr Qarase says the military should be compassionate and allow him to visit the capital to attend the High Court case brought by him and some of his deposed ministers.

He says he needs to be present because he is a key witness.

Mr Qarase says he also needs to attend a police interview in Suva because officers who questioned him at his home village this week did not complete the interview for legal reasons.

The military wants Mr Qarase investigated for treason for allegedly asking for an invasion by Australian and New Zealand troops at the time of the coup.