FIJI ARMY BOSS RESIGNS FOR POLITICAL CAREER

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 9, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Fiji's army boss, Brigadier General Ratu Epeli Ganilau, has officially submitted his resignation, saying he wants to pursue a career in politics.

Radio Australia correspondent Karan Pillay reports the government will announce a new army commander on February 28.

"Ratu Epli's resignation as army commander hasn't come as a surprise. Last year he announced plans to leave the army.

"The son of the late president Ratu Penaia Ganilau has been commander of the Fiji military forces since 1991. His resignation is currently being considered by the Home Affairs minister (Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka), who is also considering names of possible successors for the top army job.

Prime Minister Rabuka now says his government did have some problems with Ratu Epli's leadership in the army. 'They are administrative problems that he had,' Rabuka said.

"Ratu Epli still hasn't announced which political party he'll be standing for in the May general election, but many have aligned him with the newly formed Christian Democrats.

"Karan Pillay, Suva."

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