FLP replies to coup allegation

  • 13th January 2006
  • 2006
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The Fiji Labour Party reiterates its support for all agencies responsible for law and order in the country, said Party President Jokapeci Koroi.

Mrs Koroi was responding to a “highly edited” TV news story that saw her appear to be giving support to any attempt by army commander Frank Bainimarama to take over government.

“It is a long standing FLP policy to stand firm against any military interference with the operations of a duly elected government,” Koroi said.

At the same time she said the Labour Party understood and sympathized with the frustrations of the army chief in wanting to ensure that the Amnesty Bill did not undermine the rule of law in this country.

The process had been greatly undermined by the Qarase government’s refusal to consult with the military on security issues of vital national concern such as law and order.

This was made worse by the Qarase government’s obvious attempts to undermine the rule of law and consolidate its racial support from the indigenous community by giving support to those who had been convicted for coup related activities.

“It is no secret that the current stand off between the government and the military was predicated on the government’s attempts, through the Amnesty Bill, to pardon people convicted of terrorist activities in 2000, Mrs Koroi said.

She said her comments on TV were taken out of context particularly where she said the FLP was waiting to get back to government “to finish off what it started in 1999”.

This was not meant to relate to any coup but to the ability of the Fiji Labour Party as a government in waiting.

“As such FLP cannot be seen nor tagged as an apologist for any armed takeover of an appointed government,” Mrs Koroi said.

She said as victims of two military coups, the Labour Party was well qualified to speak on the issue.

Meanwhile, both the government and the military have so far been mum on the outcome of a meeting between Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi and army Commander Frank Bainimarama this morning to resolve the impasse between government and the army.