Chief of Fijian military claims that he is in control of Fiji

Sunday, December 3, 2006

The chief of the Fijian military, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has claimed that he is now in control of Fiji without having to stage a military coup. Commodore Bainimarama said: "Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase was no longer in control of the Government and unless he gives in to my demands he will have nowhere to live in Fiji."

There are predictions that the military will send out armed troops into the streets of Fiji's capital, Suva in the afternoon (0300 GMT). Commodore Bainimarama said: "I assure him [Mr Qarase] that he will not be kidnapped or put under any form of house arrest. It will be a peaceful transition." According to the Fijian newspaper Sunday Post, sources inside the government and the military have confirmed that there will be a government takeover tomorrow. Commodore Bainimarama will set up a interim administration.

Prime Minister Qarase, said that Commodore Bainimarama is "deranged and unstable." However Commodore Bainimarama responded to this, he said that they were "the action and words of a cornered rat."

The government and his cabinet are in hiding outside of Suva, Fiji, but the Prime Minister assures everyone that he is still in control of the government. Referring to the hiding, Commodore Bainimarama said: "Qarase had better come out of hiding because right now I'm in control of him."

"We want freedom to live within a democratically civil government, where the government is elected by the people. We do not want a dictator," Mr Qarase said in a nationally broadcast interview.

Mr Qarase said the he expects that he will be the Prime Minister for another four and a half years as he believes that the Fijian people do have confidence in him.