18 Jul 2017

Call for Fiji military to remain apolitcal

5:31 pm on 18 July 2017

Fiji's shadow defence minister says the military's assurance that it will accept the results of next year's election is welcome, but there remain concerns about its impartiality.

Fiji military

Photo: Supplied

The military's chief of staff, Colonel Jone Kalouniwai, said the military, which carried out three post-election coups, has learned from past mistakes.

The defence spokesperson for the Sodelpa party, Mosese Bulitavu, whose leader Sitiveni Rabuka was the instigator of the 1987 coup, said the announcement was praiseworthy.

However, the military hasn't refrained from talking openly about politics, recently speaking out against statements from both main opposition parties as well as the Methodist Church.

Mr Bulitavu said it was crucial the military remained apolitical.

"There needs to be a clearly defined role as to when do they come in and comment in the political arena," he said.

"As far as we know they should remain neutral and they should not participate in any political comments. They should not be seen as a political referee."