6 Dec 2013

Corruption still a concern seven years after Fiji coup, says academic

2:45 pm on 6 December 2013

A former Fiji constitution writer and historian says seven years on from the last Fiji coup, the military regime has failed to eliminate corruption.

The military ousted the government of Laisenia Qarase in early December 2006 and within a week installed Joni Senilagakali as interim prime minister.

He admitted the takeover by the military was illegal but said it was to clean up the mess of a much bigger illegal activity of the Qarase government.

Professor Brij Lal, who is based in Australia, says the government, which is now led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has failed to root out corruption.

"The same sort of things that happened under previous governments have been happening under this government - mismanagement, abuse of office, politics of patronage. How many people have been prosecuted for massive abuse of confidence or trust of the people? Very, very few."

Brij Lal says the military regime seems determined to retain power and may not concede defeat if its party loses the 2014 election.