19 Jun 2017

Former politician decries Fiji's coup culture

9:44 am on 19 June 2017
Mick Beddoes.

Mick Beddoes. Photo: twitter

A former opposition leader in Fiji has decried the promotion of lieutenant colonel Pio Tikoduadua to the presidency of the opposition National Federation Party.

Mick Beddoes said the former military officer was a proponent of the 2006 coup d'etat, who should not have been rewarded with the position.

The Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama led that coup, while the president of the opposition SODELPA party Sitiveni Rabuka led the coups of 1987.

Mr Beddoes said the political eminence of former coup leaders set a dangerous precedent.

"Other officers are looking at this and saying, hang on, they don't have to face a day in court or account for their actions because they're covered by an immunity provision in the current constitution of Fiji. And then you can actually go and contest elections and aspire to go to the highest office of the land and enrich yourself on the way there."

The leader of the 2000 coup George Speight was given the death sentence but it was commuted to lifetime imprisonment.

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