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SUVA, Fiji (November 6, 1997 - PACNEWS)---A University of the South Pacific academic says corruption and financial scandals have wrecked political establishments in almost all Pacific Island states.

Dr. Vijay Naidu blames large scale financial mismanagement in the Pacific on the linkage of traditional hierarchies to modern enterprises, such as tourist facilities and gold mines, Radio Fiji reports.

Naidu believes the relationships create formidable combinations, but points out that accountability and transparency are not qualities associated with traditional forms of authority and rule.

Dr. Naidu, who is the head of USP's School of Social and Economic Development, says the presence of military forces is also a threat to the political process as well as a burden to taxpayers in some regional countries.

He gives the example of Fiji and Papua New Guinea, where armed forces have undermined the political process and confidence in their respective countries.

Dr. Naidu made the comments during a regional trade union seminar currently underway in the western Fiji town of Nadi.

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