Monday, March 02, 2009

Bainimarama should not cry foul: Malielegaoi

www.fijitimes.com - Monday, March 02, 2009

COMMODORE Frank Bainimarama should be the last to cry foul and attack anyone of being 'un-Pacific' in manner, says Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Malielegaoi.

According to Talamua Online, a Samoan online news website, Mr Malielegaoi made the remarks last Friday in response to criticism leveled at him by Bainimarama, the military regime's self-elected leader.

"Commodore Bainimarama has shown little respect towards the Pacific leaders and his behaviour and actions could hardly be described as the Pacific Way," noted Mr Malielegaoi.

He also listed several un-Pacific deeds by Bainimarama.

Chief among the list was Bainimarama's forceful takeover of government, his slant against Forum leaders in accusing them of allowing themselves to be dominated by the region's Big Brothers, and his seemingly no-care attitude towards the forum given his failure to keep deadlines nor appearances.

Mr Malielegaoi, who is a member of Ministerial Contact Group appointed by the Forum to monitor Fijis election preparations, said it was clear from the outset that the interim regime had no intention of relinquishing power because they had no timeframe.

"In the contact group's visit to Fijis Electoral Commission it was quickly evident that there was no genuine attempt being made to prepare and organise an election," he said, adding that the Youtube footage by the Fiji Elections Office was further proof of this.

Mr Malielegaoi said he was confident that if the interim regime provided the necessary resources, there were sufficient qualified people in Fiji to ensure an election was held before the end of the year.

"Unfortunately everything hinges on Commodore Bainimarama and whether he is prepared to trust his people, and how genuine he is to do the right thing for his country by returning to the barracks and allowing Fiji to return to a democratically-elected government," he said.

Mr Malielegaoi had early criticised Bainimarama and his administration of being disingenuous about returning the country to democratic rule.

In his counter statement, Bainimarama accused Mr Malielegaoi of going too far in his criticism, which he labelled as un-Pacififc and unprofessional.


Bainimarama's chance at redemption: Malielegaoi
Monday, March 02, 2009

INTERIM Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama can greatly redeem his reputation if he allows a general election to be held this year and returns to the barracks, says Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

"The army commander must become firmly answerable to the elected government and only then would he recover much of his lost credibility," he told Talamua Online.

Talamua Online is a Samoan news website collated by the islands Le Samoa newspapers and Talamua Magazine.

According to the report by Talamua Online reporter Lance Polu last Friday, Mr Malielegaoi's comments would be his last on the matter.

Mr Maleilegaoi reportedly said he hoped in the future, when he and Bainimarama are both retired, Bainimarama would by then be grateful for his "direct and frank advice".

Tension mounted early last month when Mr Malielegaoi, in a lengthy analysis of the interim administration, accused Bainimarama of lying to the Pacific Island Forum members on his commitment to a general election this year.

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