Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Charter important to Bainimarama

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

INTERIM Prime Minister Commander Voreqe Bainimarama was appointed to co-chair the council of the People's Charter for Change to ensure people like ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase did not abuse authority again.

Commander Voreqe Bainimara who was not too happy being questioned by Fiji Times Online on why and how he was appointed co-chair of the council said: ''There's been talk that I should not be there (council) because I will intimidate whatever decisions... I have always said that I carried out 5 December for some good reasons and not for personal reasons, then we won't be having this debate. So dont tell me I should not be there because I might influence...

The commander was asked whether it would have been better that some other qualified person was appointed to the position to ensure the independence of the council.

He said he did not really care what people thought, the end result of the charter was more important to him.

Army won't stop ministers vie in 2009 poll

www.fijilive.com - Tuesday October 23, 2007

Fiji's military will have no part to play if members of the interim Cabinet decide to stand for elections in 2009, said military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga.

He said that decision will be left entirely to the interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and the individual ministers.

Eight members of the 17-member Cabinet have contested previous elections and another was a Senator in the last Parliament. Some of them have not ruled out standing again in the next poll.

However, the military has cautioned that it would be foolish if any of them chooses to bid for a seat in Parliament.

"We (military) said it from the beginning, if you want to be part of this interim Government you will not seek election, and I think all the ministers and the commander certainly wouldn't want to be going to politics after this," said Lt Col Tikoitoga.

"They made up their mind. They will look more foolish than ever if they change their mind, and try to seek election."

Tikoitoga said that the interim Cabinet ministers had made a commitment to the military before they joined the interim Government that they were not going to be part of at least the next election.

"And that's the individual oath they took, whether they break that, I suppose will be left to the individual and the PM to decide but the military has no part in it."

Fiji Labour Party president Jokapeci Koroi this week accused Australia and New Zealand of bullying Commodore Bainimarama to commit to an election timetable by March 2009.

Former Labour parliamentarians, Mahendra Chaudhry, Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi and Poseci Bune, are part of Bainimarama's Cabinet.

The National Federation Party and the ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's party, Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua, have welcomed the pledge by Commodore Bainimarama, but suggest that elections could still be held earlier.

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