Bainimarama plans power sweep

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 16:37 11/03/2014
Frank Bainimarama
DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
FRANK BAINIMARAMA: 'We know that when we have opposition in Parliament, they will always go against any positive move made by the Government.'

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Fiji's strongman, Frank Bainimarama, wants to control all 50 seats in the country's new parliament after democracy-restoring elections this year.

"We know that when we have opposition in Parliament, they will always go against any positive move made by the Government," he is quoted as saying by the Fiji Sun today.

He has ruled out any coalition with any other party.

Bainimarama seized power in a military coup in 2006. He abolished political parties and scrapped the constitution, only drawing up a new one, the fourth since independence in 1970, early this year.

He has promised elections by September but has not set a date.

He resigned as military head last week so that he could run for the yet-to-be-established new parliament. He has not yet formed a political party.

Several other political parties have been created, but Bainimarama says they just want to remove him from the prime minister's office and end his reforms.

Bainimarama has responded angrily to the launching of the new Social Democratic and Liberal Party (Sodelpa).

"We look forward to taking him on in a free and fair election and subjecting him [Bainimarama] to a resounding defeat," its leader Teimumu Kepa said at the weekend.

Bainimarama said Kepa was "dragging everyone backwards by employing the same old fear-mongering tactics of the old Fiji" and was speaking "utter nonsense".

He also attacked Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry who was overthrown a year into his government in a military-backed coup in 2000.

Bainimarama said Chaudhry "is well-known for his chameleon behaviour simply to stay in power at all costs, is in bed with the very people he accused of being racist and corrupt only a few years ago".

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- Fairfax Media

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