Fiji‘s National Federation Party says the military is responsible for executing the country's four coups and the economic and social pain that followed.
Presenting the party’s submission to the Constitution Commission at the GCC Complex in Nasova today, NFP general secretary Pramod Rae said the military coups had caused significant economic and social pain in the last 25 years.
However Republic of Fiji Military Forces Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga disputed this, saying the military was not responsible for the 1987 and 2000 coups.
And he says the RFMF only took over iin 2006 because politicians had failed the country.
Rae said a few may argue that the third coup on May 19, 2000 was carried out by civilians but the fact remains that it was executed by a group of soldiers from the elite Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit.
“Commodore Frank Bainimarama has even confirmed that the military toppled governments four times and we here quote Commodore Bainimarama’s remarks he made to villagers in Nadoi, Rewa during the opening of a church extension on May 22, 2008,” Rae said.
He also quoted a comment he said Bainimarama made in a TV news report: “We have taken over leadership because politicians have failed us. I have spoken to (Lasenia) Qarase and the head of the Methodist Church was there (Reverend Laisiasa Ratabaca, politicians have failed us, that is why the military took over in 1987, 2000 and 2006.”
Colonel Tokoitoga said the Military only took over the government in 2006 because the politicians had failed to do their duty in uniting the people of Fiji.
“One must understand that whatever happened in 2006 had happened in good faith because Fiji was not progressing and looking at the developments now it shows the difference,” Tikoitoga said.
By Indrani Krishna