Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reasons for coup not proven: Qarase

Reasons for coup not proven: Qarase
20/08/2008

Twenty months on, Fiji’s ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase maintains that none of the reasons advanced for the overthrow of his Government has been proven.In a letter to the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum who are meeting in Niue this week, Qarase said that as stories and accounts change, it is difficult for many observers to identity the true motives for what happened.The military had campaigned that it intended to rout corruption within the Qarase administration.However, Qarase said he has his own “soundly-based beliefs” about the motives behind the 2006 takeover, based on information available to him as Prime Minister at the time. “These are not connected to any of the various excuses that have been put forward,” he said, without elaborating on his theory.Speaking as a former chair of the Forum, Qarase told the Forum leaders that the military coup “has devastated our country socially, politically and economically”. On interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama’s decision this week to withdraw Fiji from consultations with the Forum, Qarase said “Fiji not only continues to be in breach of the principles of the Forum’s Biketawa Declaration on good governance and the rule of law; it has also separated itself even further from its Forum colleagues”.Qarase has requested the Forum leaders to “use all the diplomatic, political and moral authority at your disposal, to bring Fiji back to respectability and legality”.He said “the longer Fiji is burdened with an authoritarian government, lacking in constitutional and legal legitimacy, the greater will be our national decline”. Fijilive

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