FORMER FIJI NAVY CHIEF APPOINTED MILITARY FORCES HEAD

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 25, 1999 - PACNEWS/INCL)---A former head of the Fiji navy has been appointed the new commander of the Fiji Military Forces.

Captain Frank Bainimarama received the appointment from President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, on the advice of the Minister for Home Affairs, Paul Manueli.

Bainimarama has been army chief of staff for almost a year, prior to which he was commander of the Fiji navy.

He succeeds Ratu Epeli Ganilau, who announced his resignation this month to enter politics.

The son of the late President, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, Ratu Epeli has not declared which political party he will join, although speculation is rife that he is unlikely to join the ruling SVT Party of Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka.

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